Mermen to frolic on ancient seabed
by Lizard Man
miscast as mere surf music, the Mermen vacillate between high-speed fret
workouts and drawn-out melodic improvisations that soar and dive and leave you
hanging, wondering, "Just how many layers of feedback can be compressed
into a single note anyway?" Then, before you know it, it clarifies and
resolves, blending effortlessly into a stream, a waterfall, a rippling cascade
of psychedelic textures.
guitar improvs litter the soundscape with jagged and crunchy chunks of
carefully- articulated distortion, blending with a strong rhythm base that
doesn't need to be told where to go next--they just feel it. The absence of
vocals frees the band to explore wherever they feel drawn, and with song titles
like "With No Definite Future and No Purpose Other Than To Prevail
Somehow...," that could be just about anywhere.
these guys are professionals, and years of tireless and thankless gigging have
honed them into a tightly-wound precision mechanism. They don't get lost on
their wanderings, so when you suddenly realize that you recognize that riff
from earlier in the tune, you aren't even surprised--you just wonder how long
it's been there and, by the way, where were you?
to believe that just three guys can make such a lush, rich sound. Bass, drums,
guitar--that's it. There must be a sub-ether sounding board in there somewhere.
Slow it down to a deep-sea pace, then bring it back around to surface in the
Black Rock Desert. What other band would load up all their equipment and drive
out into the middle of the playa, away from camp, just to jam with each other,
the earth, and the sky? That's what they did last year, coming back to camp
afterwards to play for the rest of us. And for those wondering how that gig
turned out, just remember the storm. Yes, the big one.