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    Mercury 4

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    Most Popular Songs (more)

    1Every Little Step lyrics
    2Get Me Some 2004 lyrics
    3Temptation lyrics
    44 U lyrics
    To Die For lyrics
    6Sorry lyrics
    7Take It Back lyrics
    8All Out Of Love (Feat. Air Supply) lyrics
    9(has Anybody) Seen My Girl lyrics
    10Get Me Some (Jarvs Version) lyrics

    Most Popular Albums (more)

    1Mercury 4 [2004]


    Mercury4 is a boy band.

    You can dress it up all you like, but the indelible fact remains.

    Mercury4 is a boy band.

    Not a "vocal quartet" or a "harmony group" as some would spin it.

    Mercury4 is a boy band.

    An all-Australian boy band. And damned proud if it.

    "We have absolutely no problem with the fact that we are", says 24 year-old singer and songwriter Cole Rintoul. "There's a huge demand for it out there. I mean, we've heard acts say, 'We're not a boy band. We're a vocal group and please give us the credibility we deserve' and all that kind of stuff. But we have no dramas with it. Call us what you like, as long as you're talking about us, it doesn't bother us. I mean, we've just had some rock stations – who'd never play us in a million years - taking the piss out of us, but we figure you're doing something right when people who are completely irrelevant to you want to talk about you".

    You've gotta love the honesty. Let's face it, if you're a boy band in Australia, you're an easy target. Despite the fact Australians are enormous consumers of pop music, both local and international, there is still an entrenched prejudice within elements of the community about the supposed lack of "credibility" of pop acts. But since, like, when has a great pop song needed moral justification to be considered a great pop song? Is it not a fact that two of the world's biggest current superstars, Justin Timberlake and Robbie Williams, both emerged from boy bands? And in the immortal words of Spinal Tap's Nigel Tufnell, "What's wrong with being sexy?"

    Mercury4 are four hot and talented Melbourne lads – Cole Rintoul, Rien Low, Brad Johnston and Kevin Layton - who are living the dream they've all worked so hard to achieve. No apologies for that, either.

    The seeds of the band were formed in 2000 when Rien and Brad jumped up and sang a song together at a mutual friend's karaoke party. They formed a duo and were recording some backing vocals in a Melbourne studio in late 2001 when Cole - who was recording a (ahem) dog food commercial down the hallway – wandered in and liked what he heard. The newly formed three-piece was augmented by the addition of bad boy Jarvier Perez and scored a record deal in late 2002 after performing a showcase performance for 50 international BMG executives at Melbourne nightclub, the Mercury Lounge. Hence the group's name.

    What followed was a ten-month stint in the recording studio scheduled between a gruelling 80-date national school tour throughout 2003. It was a baptism of fire that saw the band pull together, harness their collective energy and improve their stagecraft. You don't have to be a rocket scientist to know how tough an audience of high school students can be. Especially when you're a boy band.

    "We started the schools shows before (their 2003 Top 5 smash hit) Get Me Some was even released, so that was without a doubt the hardest part of the whole tour. We'd do outer suburbs schools where you'd have Year 10 kids wanting to hear Eminem and we'd be these four pretty boys up on stage singing pop songs! That taught us to focus on the audience members who are enjoying it because you've got a small minority who are out to frustrate you no matter where you go. There were girls and guys who loved us but there were some young guys who didn't give a shit. So from that sense it was invaluable", recalls Cole. "It just makes you more appreciative of the good audiences", adds Rien.

    The band's debut album, simply titled Mercury4, is as good a pop record as you'll hear. Which is to say it's world class. Drawing on the talents of the world's elite pop songwriters, including The Matrix (Avril Lavigne), Gary Barlow (Take That), Babyface & LA Reid (TLC), Eliot Kennedy (Five), Jos Jorgensen (Britney Spears) and Air Supply, as well as member Cole Rintoul's own considerable songwriting skills, it is a seamless collection of pure and urban tinged pop songs. It veers from irresistibly infectious up-tempo gems like Get Me Some 2004 (re-recorded for the album, but we'll get to that), In The Club and Miss Sophisticated to epic and emotive ballads like To Die For and soul searching mid tempo tracks like 5 Years From Now. It's not without lyrical substance, either. Sorry, an R&B song about a friend's suicide is a standout. Then there's refreshingly modern covers of stone cold classics like Bobby Brown's Every Little Step (the band's current single) and Air Supply's timeless soft-rock ballad, All Out of Love, which actually features new vocals from the members of Air Supply.

    You getting the picture? Mercury4 is an album of substance and style delivered with flair and personality.

    Recorded in a high-spirited atmosphere that involved endless hi-jinks (who has got that video of Cole singing in his undies?), it also marks the debut of newcomer Kevin Layton, who joined the band in March following the departure of Jarvier for personal reasons. Spitting rhymes with a pace and flow that recalls the legendary Busta Rhymes, Kevin brings a tougher, street attitude to the band and a serrated edge to their pop sound (just check out that rap on Get Me Some 2004).

    Offstage, Cole says being in Mercury4 is like starring in an episode of Seinfield. "You've got Rien who's such a clown, he's definitely the funniest guy in the group. I'm the business guy who I guess is trying to keep everything happening and moving forward. Brad is the boy who attracts a lot of female attention but he's the youngest and actually quite shy, while Kevin is the enigma, this cool introvert who just transforms on-stage into the ultimate performer".

    For all their considerable talent and appeal, Mercury4 know that like any pop act, they live and die by the quality of the songs on their album. By adhering to what Cole calls "the holy trinity of pop songwriting" – a great melody, a killer hook and cool lyrics – their future seems assured. Their dream of longevity may not be such a long shot after all.

    Mercury4 is a boy band.
    Mercury4, their debut album, is out on 31st May, 2004.

    Listen without prejudice.

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