Album Review

Merx – “20000 Sq Ft Under The Sea” – [Permanent Records]

Thurston Hunger   12/12/2013   12-inch, A Library

Second release from this LA band, originally a Skrot Up cassette
but now a spin down slab of vinyl thanks to this Permanent press.
If you like mad intoning renegade preacher/vocalists, even if
you never stumbled across Suicide before, this album is for you.
On first listen, I was smitten. And that first track, with deep
voice wordless and reverbed into wanton rant. Hell, yeah! Side 1
songs come and go like sitting at a busy intersection during rush
hour and watching for weirdos go by in cars. These songs feel like
they are chrome-plated with tinted windows so you can’t quite see
what’s inside them. Maybe a body, maybe a couple of tanks of
oxygen, or is it a toxic chemical? Like those car occupants, the
8 songs on side 1 are gone but leave an indelible impression.
Drum machine makes you want to dance, but the baritone madman
vocalist is staring at you so you better not move. Little rifflets
of guitar that could have an ocean of spy surf behind them. Rev’d
up synths idle wildly. After my second listen, I felt like I was
in a dingy bar with only bouncers, and each bouncer is trying
to throw another bouncer out. The flip side is a single track at
45 RPM PLEASE NOTE. It’s kind of a chaotic free form take of the
tighter vibe from the songs on the flip (indeed lyrics from
20 Sq Ft get howled into the fray). Kind of a lunatic jam with
that poet/prophet/pervert shouting in the storm. Really digging
this release. A rare burly form of synth rock!

-Thurston Hunger

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