Monday, December 5, 2011

Meridene's Something Like Blood

Meridene didn't set out to write an album about the pressures and paranoia Americans face during economic and cultural turmoil in the early stages of the 21st century, it just happened to come out that way. Their new album, and follow up to 2008's You're Not Pretty, You're Worse, is a thoughtful record that's probably the closest thing to The Shins I've heard in a very long time. Something Like Blood might sound like a dark and slightly depressing record but in all actuality it is not. In fact, Something Like Blood is gripping soaring pop that despite dealing with the fabulous world in which we live today is optimistic...or at least sounds that way.

Something Like Blood is an intense record that's intelligent but is also a darn good listen. The Shins comparison to Meridene is inescapable the way that vocalist Trevor Ives stretches his words out; he just draws them out with that indie rock pout that made them famous. While some might see that as a drawback, I kind of like the way that his vocals sulk along to the way this band soars skyward. This is a four piece band that isn't afraid to make music for eight musicians and still keep it just simple enough so that your ears remain perky the whole way through Something Like Blood. Meridene are an energetic bunch here and even at their shuffliest moments there seems to be this underlying joy to their songs.

With your basic rock and roll set up and what seems like enough riffs to fill a music book, Meridene chart their course to the heavens and along the way they add flourishes of synth here and there which add texture to each of their tunes. You can hear this even on Something Like Blood's quieter moments such as, "Juliet They'll Eat Us Alive." The songs are given depth and character with all the right makes these subtle changes and sounds that really flush the record out and make it a constant joy to listen to.

Something Like Blood is the sound of a band who are growing by leaps and bounds. This is a mature, well thought out, and well played album that's loaded with enough tension, emotion, intelligence and energy to drain you. From the speedy and jumpy, "Parade of Fools," to the drawn out emotion of "A Man Of Faith, A Man Of Fact," Something Like Blood is the sound of a band finding its footing and running on all cylinders no matter the occasion or economic condition. Nice record guys.

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