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Mercyland w/Five Eight & McKendrick Bearden

March 30, 2023

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It's a night of Athens royalty at Grant's Lounge! The legendary Mercyland, formed in 1985 in Athens by vocalist/bassist David Barbe, Mercyland played avisceral style of post-punk that was both perfectly contemporary and quite ahead of its time. The trio, which also featured guitarist Andrew Donaldson and drummer Joel Suttles, synthesized the influences of seminal American underground peers into as ound all its own. Mercyland’s lone full-length release, No Feet on the Cowling, came out in 1989 and seemingly tipped the band for a higher profile, especially as major labels began turning their attentions to nascent indie and alternative scenes across the country. Instead, Mercyland broke up in 1991, relegating the music it recorded for a planned final album to be dribbled out on obscure 7-inchsingles and compilations.Three decades later, these last nine songs have been remixed by Barbe and reassembled as We Never Lost a Single Game for their first official collective release –a necessary historical document of the end of this criminally unknown band. 

Athens, GA emo unit Five Eight was the vehicle of singer/guitarist Mike Mantione, a self-professed manic depressive whose music exorcised his personal demons in grim detail. Debuting in 1989 with the self-released Passive-Aggressive cassette, the band -- which also comprised longtime bassist Dan Horowitz, guitarist Sean Dunn and drummer Patrick '"Tigger'" Ferguson -- resurfaced two years later with Inflatable Sense of Self. Signing to the Sky label, in 1992 Five Eight issued their first full-length CD, I Learned Shut Up, releasing The Angriest Man a year later; however, after 1994's Weirdo, the group spent the mid-1990s largely out of the spotlight, finally returning in 1997 with the Ed Stasium-produced Gasolina! That winter both Dunn and Ferguson abruptly left the lineup, and with new drummer Mike Rizzi, Five Eight issued 1999's "The Road Beat the Shit Out of My Favorite Band," a split single with Clemente. The full-length The Good Nurse followed on Deep Elm in the spring of 2000. Five Eight returned in 2004 with a self titled CD, the first to be released by the band itself. ~ Jason Ankeny, Rovi

McKendrick Bearden, who was a member of both Grand Vapids and Heffner, opens the show. His solo album, Bright as the Mines Out, was released last month