by Bradi Breckman
Local alt-rock band Merin released their third EP this past August, and I had the pleasure of giving it a thorough listen. Full of pop-culture references and galactic metaphors, this album is the soundtrack to an epic space adventure — even referencing the classic sci-fi film Dune in the opening track, “Fear is the Mind Killer, Nerd.”
Musically, the first thing I noticed was the lead singer’s ability to adjust his vocals to the mood of each track. In “Don’t Carry on, My Wayward Son,” the vocals exude excitement and confidence, contrasting the softness of the following track, “A Place Where Time Forgot.” The rhythmic guitar lines support the vocals and hold their own during the instrumental bridges. The drums provide a steady base under every track, and each instrument blends together to create a unique sound.
Of the tracks themselves, three out of the six stood out strongly. The third track, “Don’t Carry on, My Wayward Son,” grabbed me before it even started, as the title referenced the famous song by the band Kanas. The crescendoing instrumentals and crunchy harmonies held my attention throughout the song, while the lyrics put a smile on my face. The fourth song, “A Place Where Time Forgot,” evoked feelings of nostalgia and presented excellent lyricism. Its bittersweet feel definitely made it a memorable track, while the closing song, “Psychotic Dream Land,” made for a perfect finale. With emotional vocals and vivid lyrics that drew up pictures of liminal spaces, it was hard not to feel emotional while listening to it. The instrumental ending left me wanting more — a cliffhanger conclusion to the album’s musical story.
The only song that did not leave an impact on me was the fifth track, “I Kinda Hate It.” The lyrics were less original, and they lacked a certain energy that the others had. That said, the instrumentals remained steady and were excellent in the second half of the song.
Overall, I can definitely say that I am a fan of this EP and this band. The creative lyrics, paired with the powerful instrumentals and impactful vocals, make this a must-listen. I hope to hear more from Merin soon!