Sunday 19 April 2015

No Mercy - Widespread Bloodshed/Love Runs Red Reissue


1. We're Evil
2. Crazy But Proud
3. Master Of No Mercy
4. Day Of The Damned
5. Controlled By Hatred
6. I'm Your Nightmare
7. Widespread Bloodshed-Love Runs Red
8. My Own Way Of Life
9. Waking The Dead

Following on from my Brotherhood review a week or so ago, I thought I'd check out another reissue. This is the only LP from the mid-1980's thrash band No Mercy, formed by Suicidal Tendencies member Mike Clark. Many of the members that played in No Mercy, also played in Suicidal Tendencies, including vocals Mike Muir. This 9-track LP was reissued in late 2014 via Suicidal Records. 

I went to see Suicidal Tendencies at Download Festival in 2006 and listening to No Mercy takes me back to that summer. Obviously there are similarities between both bands. These songs have been remastered for this release yet still sound as raw and as fun as they did back in 1987. It’s scary to think that this record came out just a year after I was born. We’re Evil opens the record and proves why crossover bands were so influential on the thrash scene both back then and indeed now. Plenty of gang vocals, high-pitched lead guitar and crucially, melody. Unlike Anthrax, who ploughed a similar furrow at the time of this record, Crazy But Proud shows that No Mercy possessed more personality and originality. I don’t think either No Mercy were ever on any of the Tony Hawks Playstation game soundtracks, but they bloody should have been. Master Of No Mercy would have slotted in perfectly alongside The Ramones and Guttermouth! Definitely more punk than thrash, but still circle-pit inducing and with more urgency too. I love the melody that No Mercy injects into these songs. They’re not just about full-on hardcore aggression. Mike Muir especially proves why he’s such a revered vocalist on Day Of The Damned. No Mercy weren’t afraid to change pace or atmosphere either, as songs like Controlled By Hatred will attest. There’s a menace to it but the song also has a strangely chilled out surf-punk vibe, like on Master Of No Mercy before it. No Mercy are back at their thrashing best on I’m Your Nightmare. It’s pretty impossible to keep still during the song, as it’s infectious tempo gets to you. The title-track’s furious riffs are exhilarating and leave on time for breath. The key to this record is it’s momentum and No Mercy knew how to keep it high. My Own Way Of Life has some great picking in it and more characteristic melody, which I’m sure added to their approachability at the time. closing song Waking The Dead is a pure, unadulterated thrashathon! Seven and a half minutes of whirlwind crossover that ends the record on a huge high. I personally think it’s great that early bands are having record reissued. It allows people with a genuine interest in metal/punk to check out the bands that probably influenced the bands they listen to now. Widespread Bloodshed/Love Runs Red is truly infectious and it’ll be getting repeat spins from me!

The whole record is streaming song-by-song on Youtube here:-

You can grab physical copies direct from Suicidal Records here -

No Mercy/Suicidal Tendencies Facebook -

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