Merger Second to Last EP

MERGER doles out free-jazz-sounding instrumentals before some brief post-hardcore bursts. I think this is an awkward choice for HC/punk because it pushes against both the genre’s brevity and simplicity. It’s not a side show either; the band really emphasizes the noodling that builds up to the screaming and buzzing. This combo always feels like it’s using experimentation in the service of faster, angrier parts. I think that’s not a good use of either style.

Merger Merger LP

This record is a total mess, though not really in a bad way. It’s like a raucous FUGAZI party record that you would never play at a party. Some of the vocals are a little over the top in their likeness to the aforementioned, and the song “Buzzer #1″ has to be a reference. The better of the tracks are super dynamic, soft/loud/soft/loud but without that ’90s thing where you only rely on distortion. It’s at its best when the guitars detune themselves mid-song, playing picked-out melodies that are reminiscent of the MINUTEMEN. Cool record.