Regardless of the content of his lyrics it is hard to take Holding Mercury frontman Matt Hoffer seriously. For starters his music sounds like a slightly glammed-up Gin Blossoms cover, but it is mostly because of his national television debut. Yes, Matt Hoffer was a contestant on Rock Star Supernova. Well, if you are like me and don't remember or have never heard of Rock Star Supernova, a quick check of Wikipedia reveals that it aired back in 2006 and was hosted by the lovely Brooke Burke and Dave Navarro (how quickly they fall!). Matt was able to perform "Yellow" by Coldplay and "Planet Earth" by Duran Duran before being eliminating the first week of the contest. Supernova's loss is Holding Mercury's gain. There is a certain strength in Hoffer's vocal and an uncommon bit to his lyrics.
Holding Mercury consists of Andrew Titchenal, Jason Batchko, Ashok Warrier, and Matt Hoffer. Their latest album, Downfall of An Empire (Bad Nero Records), is an album about struggle, conflict, and political turmoil. The highlight for me, as I sit here in a beige cubical and down my fifth cup of coffee, is "Stuck in a Box". It's an arena rock anthem for the underpaid and overworked and it kicks off this ten track mainstream melodrama. The package is shiny, the music is clear and fast-paced, and it is all paart od the product. The cover and interior artwork for the album was down by fellow Chicago rocker and artist David Downs, and is like a beautiful mini-graphic novel about the downfall of life and times.