Mercy Academy

A wise choice to bring more sets of guitar strings and a cello makes Mercy Academy’s follow-up to Tales a respectable turn from a full folk sound. Instead, Hearing is marked with nostalgic yearning for the ’90s rock most of us grew to adore. They have a restless style that exudes some self-realizing moments on record. Those memories immediately revisit in the semi-sweet “Houselights,” dripping with refrain and spiral riffs that reflect Sunny Day Real Estate. The halfway track “Under the Lightening” strays away from song with a rising drone, but the melodic spirals return in the latter half. It captures the nature of this album that wants to be unacquainted with typical structure. Heavy riff instants are non-intrusive to the tender moments, which carry the dynamic throughout, sweetness emerged from the dark.