The Mercenaries 'Cursed Blessings' AmericanaUK review. Pub rock New York style. This prolific New York based quintet have averaged almost one album a year since their inception in 2000, and Cursed Blessings marks a further refinement of their brand of powerful bar room rock tempered with a strong pop sensibility. The anthemic opening bars of 'Steady Man' proclaim lustily,'We play and sing and we drink' and surely go down a treat in a live setting, though the song sweetly informs it's subject that despite such good time pursuits,'I'm your steady man'. This is feelgood rock,complete with harmonies and trumpets which feature throughout the record.'Y Won't U B The 1 4 Me' is a foot tapping rip through the tale of the steadfast boy who is always passed over,whilst the melancholy 'Isn't Love Supposed To Last'is a slower tempo affair. Keen to turn their hands to a variety of subjects, The Mercenaries delve into folk rock on 'Fences And Walls' and create a rather overwrought dissection of their love/hate relationship with their North American neighbours on 'Canada'. Cursed Blessings is lively and fun despite the band's limitations, and although lyrically and musically things are a bit pedestrian at times, there is a vitality and a variety which keeps things interesting. Date review added: Sunday,April 05,2009. Reviewer: Jenny Higham.