By: Tricia Callahan
Delaware’s leading noise makers Merger have proven that punk isn’t dead, you just have to know where to look for it. Hidden in the shuffle of the big city of Wilmington, is a niche group of young musicians churning out records that contain that gritty yet purely nurtured disaffected essence that is dripping behind every suburban facade . This group you ask? Impetus Records. Co-owned by Merger’s very own, Diego Romero-Aros it seemed only appropriate their self-titled debut go that way and rest assured it’s a shingle shaker.
Finding the romance in things left behind “Debris” kicks off the album with a shagging hook that will make you want to head to the beach. With a pulsing kick drum and a warm bass you are led to a squeaking crescendo that reminds you this is just as much of a completed song as it is a jam fest.
“Sleepwalker” is a noisy play on a few chords with lyrics and vocals hidden behind the sound. The finger plucking on the bright electric guitar near the songs center is truly the tracks shining moment before falling gently back to that groovy distortion.
Bringing on the bass and vocally reminiscent of an old Nirvana track, “Nautical” capitalizes on quieter moments. The songs one layer sound really allows for the smoke of the vocals to really rise to the ceiling.
No methamphetamine needed for the extremely high tempo “Buzzer #1” which brings us back to the punk base camp. Vocals come to an achy squeal and the repetitive gnarly chords wrap you in it’s grimy love, think The Vines circa 2002.
Another taste of that New Wave groove (B-52’s “Rock Lobster” anyone?) “Doubletime” feels light at the bow but it’s only a tease for this nautical adventure of an album. The song has strong bones yet feels a bit mismatched at times. But, hey, who says songs can’t be complex collages held by Scotch tape?
The albums closer “Weighted” is certainly the most beautiful vocally but still plays with the juxtaposition of scratchy almost piercing guitar. Anchors away and you’ll be weighted right to the ocean floor and to the records end.
The album in its entirety is unpredictable only finding cohesion in the song titles tropes toward a sailing trip gone awry. If you need an unbridled, punchy, loud on the ears listen this is for you; if you are more of a Norah Jones fan proceed with caution.