Thirsty Merc are an Australian pop rock band formed in 2002 by Rai Thistlethwayte (vocals, guitar, keyboards), Phil Stack (bass guitar), Karl Robertson (drums), and Matthew Baker (guitar). In 2004 Baker was replaced by Sean Carey who was, in turn, replaced by Matt Smith in 2010. Thirsty Merc have released one extended play, First Work (September 2003), and four studio albums: Thirsty Merc (August 2004), Slideshows (April 2007), Mousetrap Heart (June 2010) and Shifting Gears (September 2015). The band have sold over 200,000 albums, toured extensively around Australia, and received national radio airplay for their tracks.
In June 2005 Billboards Christie Eliezer felt their debut album showed ‘electric rock-, classical- and jazz-influenced pop [that] appealed to Australian radio programmers’. The work reached the top 20 on the ARIA Albums Chart and was certified platinum by ARIA for shipment of 70,000 units by the end of 2005. Slideshows peaked at No. 4 in Australia – their highest position. It reached No. 38 on the New Zealand Albums Chart, however Thirsty Merc had attained No. 29 in that market. The group were nominated for four ARIA Awards in 2005 and the Thistlethwayte-written track, ’20 Good Reasons’, was nominated for Song of the Year at the APRA Music Awards of 2008. From 2006, their song ‘In the Summertime’ was the opening theme for the Australian TV reality show, Bondi Rescue.