REVIEW: MERE WOMEN - ‘YOUR TOWN’.
MERE WOMEN - ‘YOUR TOWN’
NEW ALBUM REVIEW
Sydney trio Mere Women have release their second album Your Town via Poison City Records, unleashing a moody barrage of murky musical energy and intensity. The band – comprising of vocalist Amy Wilson, guitarist Flyn Mckinnirey and drummer Katrina Byrne – have been creeping their way into the independent Australian music scene since their debut LP Old Life received positive reviews.
There’s a cult-like feel to Your Town, with its punk undertones, volatile reverberation in the lyrics and themes of place and belonging. In all honesty, Amy Wilson’s singing style is hard to get used to. Her voice sounds quite lifeless and her Australian accent is perhaps a little over accentuated a times. I like its rawness, but it lacks depth on some tracks, and I did feel myself longing for more exploration and storytelling in her words.
Opening track ‘Home’ is loud and confident. The poetry is sparse but the limited, repetitive vocals complement the more assured backing. The music is extremely catchy and developed, in particular guitarist Flyn Mckinnirey. Drummer Katrina Byrne’s beats are stoic and sound throughout.
Titled track ‘Your Town’ is a bit of a disappointment. Wilson evokes little magic and intensity, but all was forgotten when I played the next song, ‘Our Street’. This is definitely the stand-out of the album. The opening riff is instantly toe-tapping and with clear direction. Wilson’s typically bland voice comes into its own when the pre-chorus kicks in with its moody, static-laden guitar licks. The 80s-esque echoes on the vocals help to lift Wilson’s calls over the heavy backing. There’s something a little Lana Del Rey about Wilson’s “will you still want me when I’m old and frail?” mantra, but it’s more of a youthful fret than one motivated by the paranoia of excess and celebrity.
Despite the slang on ‘Know U Well’, the track’s dark, abstract opening riff is not a bad starting hook. Wilson’s owl-like coos over the moodier sections of the song work well with amplifying the already uneasy, theatrical tone. ‘Heave Ho’ sees Wilson again with a very 80s feel, and her monotonous voice is a good foil for the vibrant backing. The jarring layering of sounds can be alienating in some spots, and rousing in others, as with all the tracks on Your Town.
Closing track ‘Moon Creeper’ is a good choice to end on, with Mckinnirey’s riff and Byrne’s fast beats making for a great, swelling climax before an abrupt end.
This album is consistent in its erratic style and foreboding score, but overall, struggles to leave a lasting impression on me. I’m afraid Wilson and her lyrics are the reason for my disconnect on the whole, and despite one excellent song and a few other memorable ones, there isn’t enough gusto overall to save the sound. It’s an acquired taste, and perhaps with a few more listens, one that will grow on me.
Highlights: Our Street, Heave Ho and Moon Creeper.
You can check out more from Mere Women at the following websites:
Official website: http://merewomen.wordpress.com/
Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/merewomen
The band will be taking Our Town on tour on these dates:
Sun, Aug 15 – The Red Rattler, Sydney, NSW [w/Ghastly Spats + Lovely Head]
Sun, Aug 24 – Poison City Weekender @ Reverence, Melbourne, VIC [sold out]
Thurs, Aug 28 – Newtown Social Club, Sydney, NSW [w/Pity Sex + Postblue]
Sat, Sept 6 – Trainspotters, Brisbane, QLD [w/Multiple Man, Cured Pink + Stress Waves]
Fri, Sept 12 – The Croatian Club, Newcastle, NSW
Fri, Sept 19 – The Old Bar, Melbourne, VIC [w/Gold Class]
Sat, Sept 27 – Chop Shop, Canberra, ACT [w/Wives]
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