Merit – The Truth About The Twenties EP

Self ascribed “Arizona Bummer Jams”, Merit came to my attention because I heard they were doing a searing cover of The Replacements¬† “Can’t Hardly Wait” on their last tour and they were and I was glad I got to hear it at the release show for The Riveras new album, where I also got to see them for the first time. They lay heavy reference on Emo influences, but maybe I just always saw that as gut pouring indie rock derived from punk anyway, so I don’t really know what that means. The guitars are goddamn great, crunchy, loud and right up front, with the lead singer wailing right along and these sound like anything but bummer jams to me…well, barring the lyrical content, which at some points is kind of a downer.

Both the title track and “American Gods” rock this EP straight out of the starting gate and blow me away with a refreshing urgency. “Interlude” is admittedly a song just over a minute long that brings the pace and mood down a bit, but it’s a nice way to introduce the effect of ¬†the opening to “Portland” without diminishing it due to a jarring transition that would have been there without it. Meanwhile, “I Don’t Believe In You Anymore” is one of the strongest tracks on the entire affair, if for no other reason than the comparatively complex musical structure, which borders a bit on Math Rock at times more than anything else. “We’re Still Flying” is the finale and the longest track found on this release, and it may be the best conceived song here as in a fully realized composition that seems to define Merit’s style better than anything else here. It’s an EP that’s filled with pain, despair and haunted memories for sure, but it also rocks the hell out all over the place. This is a great beginning for a young band with some serious promise. I look forward to seeing Merit again and hearing what they do next.

Everyone has a chance to see Merit this weekend at The Yucca Tap Room! They will be playing a show with Kris Roe of The Ataris, The Dig from NYC and Celebration Guns. The cover is only $10 and it will be ridiculously good. To prime you up for the show, please have a listen to The Truth About The Twenties below.