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. Mericana is releasing 2 previously recorded EP’s entitled The World You Know & Whatever’s Left Sessions influenced by iconic bands such Muse, QOTSA and Soundgarden. Both records were self-produced.
The “Whatever’s Left Sessions” was arranged and recorded in multiple studios between 2009 and 2015 in Edmonton, AB. Mericana brings a tightly produced, sludgy-masterpiece with enough lyrical content and melodies to satiate the most critical of rock or grunge fans. However Mericana is not a one-trick pony relying solely on monster riffs or just melody. He creates an atmosphere through each song that’s meant for you to be immersed in.
Mericana has a more adult sounding grunge. His songs have amazing sound, great production, and great layering. Besides, the more you listen to it, the more amazing it gets. The production of this album is crisp, dynamic, and nearly flawless like albums from the 90’s. It is the exact opposite of what you hear from other rock bands today suffering from the loud wars and over compression syndrome. The songs are very fleshed out, from changing the melody midsection to layers of atmospheric guitars. Mericana provides an easily accessible yet complex sound in the sense that it cannot be pinned down into just one rock genre.
From the kick off, with the song “Unknown”, this album sounds perfect in every way from Mericana’s crunching guitar riffs that send shivers running down your spine to his dark and brilliant vocals. “Coaltown Blues” is a heavy driving song with some memorable riffs, but the real standouts lies in the back-end of the EP, both “Never Turn the Lights On” and “Whatever’s Left”, really show off Mericana’s chops. Not just as a singer or instrumentalist, but as a songwriter and arranger, as these tracks are brilliantly conceived, expanded and executed.
The sinister, brooding atmosphere is especially technically accomplished here, Mericana’s instrumentals move from progressive rock, to catchy and accessible, and then on to turgid, ponderous bombast – the overall effect is exciting and powerful. What makes Mericana worth the listen? Signs of brilliance on every track, superb guitar work, and interesting lyrics, accompanied by an awesome voice. Melodic and visceral, this is what many new bands strive to do but most do not write such good music.
“Whatever’s Left Sessions” is a scorching rock EP, with much more than just an undercurrent of grunge lying underneath it all. Simply put, if you want a break from the everyday rock music choices, Mericana can do no wrong.