Artist of the Month, October 1996
HEARNET loves to see local Bay Area bands break out from
the pack and hit nationally. San Francisco favorites THE MERMEN, have
been chosen as our September Artist of the Month, and we couldn't be happier.
THE MERMEN released their first tape, Krill Slippin' in 1989 and their
first CD, Food For Other Fish in 1994. Food became one of the top selling
discs in the Bay Area, topped the playlist at KUSF and the band was named
one of the "Top Discoveries" of 1994 by Thrasher Magazine.
THE MERMEN's music has been described as the nexus where
Sonic Youth meets Dick Dale. Lead guitarist Jim Thomas credits the
legendary surf guitarist Dale as one of his influences, along with
Clarence White, Django Reinhardt, and The Dead Kennedy's. Bassist
Allen Whitman and drummer Martyn Jones joined Thomas in forming the
band seven years ago, and they took their name from the Jimi Hendrix
song "1983...(A Mermen I Shall Turn To Be)". The guitar-driven
instrumental sound of the trio has been called "jagged, hypnotic
and fierce" by the San Francisco Weekly . THE MERMEN refuse to
be pigeonholed as a surf band, and though the influences are obvious,
so too is the nervous, almost angry energy, that bands like the Dead
Kennedy's and Sonic Youth thrived on.
The 1995 release of the A Glorious Lethal Euphoria catapulted
the band onto the national stage. Reviewers were unanimous in praise
of the album. Rolling Stone Magazine, in its yearly round up of instrumental
recordings, highlighted the "..trebly turbulence and black minor-chords
of guitarist Jim Thomas.." and characterized the experience of
the music "...like a rough ride on icy seas." And Guitar
World and Guitar Player both highlighted Euphoria as one of the guitar
records of 1995.
The 1996 release of Songs of the Crow on Mesa records
continues the growth of the band and the critical and popular raves.
BAM Magazine praised the album highly and said it's "..not to
be missed." The Gavin Report's rave said "...this seven
track odyssey kicks off with one of he most ferocious instrumentals
in recent history. The Mermen turn surf music inside out".
THE MERMEN are the real deal and H.E.A.R. is proud to
honor them as our September Artist of the Month. The band's not only
kickin' ass on recordings and in concert, but they are also smart
enough to take the issue of hearing health seriously. The band knows
the value of ear plugs and are supporter's of our effort at H.E.A.R.
If you're already a fan of THE MERMEN spread the word. If you haven't
yet heard the band don't wait any longer.