Unoriginal group pimped by celebrity label-head makes sophomore album even more boring than its debut was obnoxious
More reserved and amorphous than its predecessor (2006’s scattered, grating I Trust you to Kill Me), Mercy induces an Ambien-like trance that’s difficult to wake from. And it’s just as well—if you doze while playing this record, you’re not missing much. Sure, DeLuca & the Burden can play the notes, but as artists, they have little to say, instead alternately aping Coldplay, Jeff Buckley, Ryan Adams and the John Butler Trio. Mercy achieves the astounding feat of being both pretentious (musically) and dumb (lyrically). Not that you need heady wordplay to make a great rock record, but DeLuca deals exclusively in vacuous lyrical clichés that’ll make you want to stub out a cigarette on your arm to combat the boredom. He’d be well-served by burning his rhyming dictionary and losing his overly breathy vocal affectations, which sound far too concerned with dropping panties to carry any real emotional weight. I’d venture that if Ironworks label head Kiefer Sutherland hadn’t used his celebrity to pimp the band, the Burden would still be annoying otherwise content drunks every Friday night at some Southern California bar.
Listen to Rocco DeLuca & the Burden on MySpace.