Review from Americana-UK
Merrick Section “Merrick Section” (Independent, 2009)
Cut-above Massachusetts roots rock debut
On first listen, the debut album by this Massachusetts band is a solid but unremarkable addition to the bulging catalogue variously described as heartlands rock, roots rock and numerous other sobriquets. Well played, well sung, but nothing to get particularly excited about. As usual however, perseverance pays off and subsequent spins reveal a band with more ambition than the norm and the chops – both written and played – to back it up.
All three members sing and vocal and instrumental leads are swapped with the casual abandon that bespeaks serious sympatico, all of which gives “Mandalay” and “You Can’t” that effortless toe-tapping, head-wagging irresistibility, “Lucky Stars”, complete with classically-styled guitar solo, proper muscular stomp appeal and “Another Invitation” a sound that’s John Mellencamp crossed with The Jayhawks. So far so superior, but there’s more. “Cross On The Highway”, which features aching vocals from Christine Andrews, is a proper country tragedy while “Mary Maudlin” displays genuine empathy with its subject and “Northeast Ghost” an affecting elegy for an area devastated by recession and changing economic times. A band that hopefully lots more will be heard from.
Date review added: Saturday, January 09, 2010
Reviewer: Jeremy Searle