The Earth At Night, Mercey Hot Springs


Delhotel Records, Mexico
Rating: 66

By Andrew Casillas

I don’t know much about Mexican electro-rock act Mercey Hot Springs, but I do know this: they sure can rock a sweet groove. This makes the Earth at Night so frustrating—and disappointing—at times. Oddly (or perhaps rightly), the act that Mercey Hot Springs reminds me of most is another equally funky yet spotty dance-rock troupe: Out Hud. Indeed, as with that perennially on-the-cusp (now defunct) Brooklyn act’s finest work, the Earth at Night is a mix of fat bass licks, stealth percussion, and indie grooves with enough humor to keep your attention even when the party’s over. At their best, Mercey Hot Springs can create a banger worthy of Basement Jaxx (“Ti Takaya Prelesnaya”) or Mextronica that even Camilo Lara would have to stand and applaud (“Estado de Emergencia,” which also contains a pretty great line about swine flu). However, this album is also victim to some of the more unfortunate track sequencing that I’ve seen in a while. For some reason, the band elects to follow every great toe-tapping, booty-shaking moment with frenetic, filler tracks. For example, “Ti Takya Prelesnaya,” easily the most infectious moment on the record, is followed by “Cierra los Ojos” which sounds like the interlude track from Powerpuff Girls cartoon reruns. This isn’t an isolated incident either. It’s as if the band is deliberately trying to pique your interest with the pop tunes to lure you into their more experimental tracks. That’s not to say that said tracks are entirely bad, but the track sequencing is more apt to leave the listener jarred than it is to make them attentive. This is unfortunate, because as I’ve stated before, there are a few flashes of brilliance on this record. It’s also remarkably engaging with repeat listens, but that doesn’t mean that you won’t catch yourself wanting to press the “skip” button more than once. I don’t doubt that this band could one day make a record the equal of Let Us Never Speak of It Again, let’s just hope that THEY realize that.