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|The Mercy Seat||Primary Artist|
|Gordon Gano||Acoustic Guitar, Guitar, Vocals, Group Member|
|Patrick Moran||Acoustic Guitar|
|Patrice Morris||Acoustic Guitar, Vocals|
|Zena von Heppinstall||Vocals|
|Fernando Menendez||Drums, Vocals, Shaker|
|The Mercy Seat||Producer, Audio Production|
|Warren A. Bruleigh||Producer, Engineer, Audio Production|
|Jeff Price||Art Direction|
|Zena von Heppinstall||Composer|
Posted October 1, 2010
THE MERCY SEAT's self-titled 1987 release, their sole album, was one of my favorite cassettes in high school. It was a gospel/blues/punk hybrid project (don't call it Christian rock) featuring guitarist Gordon Gano of the Violent Femmes and singer Zena Von Heppinstall. It was released originally in 1987 while the Femmes were on hiatus and out of print by 1988. I've tried for 22 years to find one of the excruciatingly few CDs that were produced originally. I almost bought a CD-R of a vinyl rip a few years ago.
Wounded Bird Records has rereleased the album on CD (for the first time, they claim, though I remember seeing a CD in shops back in '87) and given it sparkling remastered audio. Seriously, the drum sounds, especially, are SO crisp and present. The music is so spontaneous and loose, you wouldn't expect the sound to be so pristine, especially when you're used to hearing it over a layer of audible tape hiss. But this is easily one of the cleanest, sharpest recordings I've ever heard.
You're always afraid when you purchase a CD reissue you remember loving as a kid, but haven't heard in a long, long time, that the music has held up and is as good as you remember it. The day I got the CD in the mail was made doubly happy then when I realized (knowing more now about both punk rock and black gospel than I did at 17) that I may actually like the album more now than I did as teenager.