If you’re a rock music fan, and I mean any type of rock music fan, the EP “The World You Know” by Mericana is a marvel to behold, and it’s one of the few recordings I can’t seem to take out of my playlist this week. That seems to oversimplify the dilemma in the experience too, because the EP has been pumping into my audio veins for so much that it feels like it’s become a part of my subconscious. First and foremost, I have to say that “The World You Know” is a testament to the power of the human voice.
I’ve heard so many people try to sing in my life that it’s hard to say that any of them are moving anymore, but I have to say that Mericana can be breathtaking when he wants to be. In fact, when listening to the harmonics within Mericana’s vocal precision on “Stand”, it becomes apparent that the man has talent. He doesn’t have to hit you like a hammer with his voice to make a point, and he never tries to overpower you when he pours you an emotive soliloquy. It’s empowering when you listen to how Mericana does what he does, changing his sound and becoming an instrument unto himself, and how he can create atmosphere simply by formulating syllables that most voices emit like waste.
Next, there’s the question of content driving the songs themselves and how they manage to impact. I’m not really a fan of oversimplified music, and have to say that this is another reason I enjoy Mericana so much. “Remain in the Heart” is one of those works that lets the words and music worm its way into one’s emotive inner eye, relating both situational experimentation and crescendos of feelings all in one stroke, and it does so by letting the backdrop cast so many emotions.
The track is a dark overture camouflaged in a pretty package – depending on how you define the artifice of the heart – with tempo changes and soaring vocals. In you want highlights from the EP (and these, by no means, are meant to overshadow the other tracks), I’d go with the two songs above, and then “The Darkness”, which has some more than divine guitar playing, followed by the epic “Atmosphere” which is bathed in layers of vocal harmonies and a wall of sound.
The self-produced, performed and recorded “The World You Know” is an EP of extremes, from soft and sweet melodious malaise to crashing feats of crunch; from timid whispers of surrender to brutal screams of domination. It has the dynamics of progressive rock, but without the unnecessary fat. Mericana is a prolific composer and a vital singer and guitarist in the rock music scene. With all due respect, I cannot for the life of me understand how an artist like Mericana has remained under the radar while so much trash have been picking up the accolades and raking in the sales during the last few years!
MORE ABOUT: Influenced by the most notorious heavy metal bands and then later, 90’s alt-rock, Mericana has been capturing audiences with his imaginative and exotic guitar playing since he was a teenager in Nanaimo, BC. He has contributed to a number of original rock/folk bands starting early 2000, making records, touring, experiencing the taste of Top 40 success and more (Murder City Sparrows, Edmonton, AB). In 2006, he began a solo project influenced by the late Jeff Buckley, Ours & Muse. Although the road ahead looked clear ahead, in 2008 he became a father and since that shifting of direction, he’s been spending much of his time working in studio production and developing his music.