Monday, 4 April 2016

Mermaidens In The Undergrowth

Another New Zealand band to finish off the day is Mermaidens, a Wellington trio whose debut album Undergrowth is a dark psych delight. I have heard a few people refer to them as being like Warpaint (and a track like 'Haz Song' does follow a similar trajectory). Now I can see certain familiarities throughout this album, but this seems to come from the atmosphere generated by the music with breathy female vocals piercing the mist. Undergrowth shows something more - a band who aren't afraid to get dirty. The guitar growl that punctuates 'Seed', or the overt Black Angels psych-blues groove of excellent opener 'Under The Mountain II'. The songs all evoke garish otherworldly images of nature, the percolating, fermenting growth of organisms in their myriad organic forms, yet the muscularity of the bass and the metronome surety of the drums manages to keep things more on the sinister side. The mood is built on and maintained throughout, so that by the time the ambitious 'Splinter' arrives, the band at its most sonorous even as they fade out in disintegration, you are not only fully invested in Undergrowth, you have become a part of it. Mermaidens launch the album this Friday alongside Kane Strang (more on him shortly) in Auckland; you can pick up Undergrowth here.

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