NEPA Scene Staff

Jersey punk supergroup Mercy Union plays at Karl Hall in Wilkes-Barre on June 14

Jersey punk supergroup Mercy Union plays at Karl Hall in Wilkes-Barre on June 14
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From a press release:

On their way to meet up with The Flatliners on tour, New Jersey heartland punk rock supergroup Mercy Union, featuring Jared Hart of The Scandals and Benny Horowitz of The Gaslight Anthem, will come through Wilkes-Barre to perform at Karl Hall on Tuesday, June 14.

Scranton indie punk band Those Clever Foxes and Pittston indie/alternative rockers Retrovai will open the all-ages show.

Doors at Karl Hall (57 N. Main St., Wilkes-Barre) open at 7 p.m., and the music starts at 8 p.m. Tickets are $12 at the door, and it is BYOB for those 21 and over.

What once started as friends shaking off the dust in a Jersey City basement has now turned into a full-time project for the members of Mercy Union. Building on the foundations of their previous projects, they hit the ground running with their debut full-length “The Quarry” in 2018 as well as their follow-up EP “II” in 2019, showcasing those songs live across both the United States and Europe.

Released on the band’s Mt. Crushmore Records label and recorded at Little Eden in Asbury Park with Pete Steinkopf of The Bouncing Souls, “The Quarry” is a propulsive 12-song showcase written from an outside perspective of different aspects of a linear life – growing up, the people who shaped you, the people who let you down, the people who are still here, and the things we struggle with daily in our minds. The album’s lead single “Chips and Vics” references this internal tension via the type of discord found within a very personal relationship.

Over their countless meetings in the shadow of Manhattan in Jersey City, four friends- Jared Hart (lead vocals/rhythm guitar), Rocky Catanese (lead guitar), Nick Jorgensen (bass), and Benny Horowitz (drums) – pushed their creative limits through endless riffs and backbeats and, in the process, the band was born.

While navigating topics as heavy as the air in that tight basement, these musicians blended their individual styles into a unique and wistful sound that moves one’s soul. From the driving and sweeping centerpieces “Young Dionysians” and “Silver Dollars” to the dreamy, romantic twang of “Layovers,” “The Quarry” is influenced both by the timeless music of the band’s home state as it is the classic tradition of punk, soul, and Americana music. There is something familiar about the music presented here – it’s not quite déjà vu or nostalgia, but it hearkens back to the music cherished during one’s formative years. The album washes over you – it is nothing you’ve heard before and has the comfort you didn’t know you needed.

“‘The Quarry’ embodies the human thought process. It represents the ability to look at your life and memories from the outside, and hopefully gain some perspective,” Hart said.

“These songs explore elements of worry, gratitude, loss, and self-worth. It’s a record I’ve been hesitant to approach until the right pieces fell into place.”

With an infinite number of miles under their collective belts, thanks in part to their previous projects which include The Gaslight Anthem, The Scandals, and Let Me Run, Mercy Union sought to road test “The Quarry” immediately. In the months that followed the recording of the album, they supported acts such as California’s Racquet Club (featuring members of Samiam and The Jealous Sound), John Nolan of Taking Back Sunday, Philadelphia singer/songwriter Dave Hause, and Scranton punk band The Menzingers on various tours and one-off gigs. Later this month, they will be supporting The Flatliners on the Canadian punk band’s 20th anniversary tour.

Mercy Union’s latest single “Prussian Blue” was released on March 18.