Steal This Song: Oh Mercy, “Lay Everything on Me”

There are few ways to get our attention faster than comparing an artist to Neil Finn. It’s a double-edged sword, though; there are scores of artists who try to emulate Finn brothers Neil and Tim, but almost none of them succeed in replicating his signature blend of rich melodcism with a healthy dose of neurosis. Still, when someone dares to make the comparison, we listen.

And, if the song turns out to sound more like the Go-Betweens than the Finn Brothers, we listen again. And again.

oh mercy

Alexander Gow and Tom Savage. The new McLennan and Forster?

“Lay Everything on Me,” the first single from Melbourne quartet Oh Mercy, feels like a lost track from 1987, the kind of thing that would have received heavy airplay in the early days of 120 Minutes. Think the Immaculate Fools, Danny Wilson, the aforementioned Go-Betweens, or if you want a modern-day comparison, Jupiter One. It’s insanely melodic guitar pop, with a simple, driving drum beat (and lots of cowbell) and a bare-bones scratch guitar line. But this is no retro hipster douchebag band cashing in on a movement; they simply favor melody over an ironic pose or sonic gimmicks – as it should me, damn it.

The band’s debut album, Priviledged Woes, is set to drop in the States soon, and after a dozen spins of this song and a quick glance of the songs on their MySpace page (which features a nifty cover of the Cardigans’ “Lovefool” that they recorded for an Australian radio station), it can’t come soon enough.

Oh Mercy – Lay Everything on Me