Merit – “Arson Is For Lovers”
Album Reviews | May 17th, 2009
Record Label: S/R
Band Link: link
Buy on Amazon.com
Female-fronted emo rock with toes in power pop and melodic indie. Like many similar bands, the music is very poppy without being too songfully catchy or memorable.
The vocals felt overly powerful at first, but quickly won me over with its sugar-powered energy. Singer Brenna Merritt is also able to carry the couple of ballads on here, “Mourning Dove” and “Bring Us The Sun;” the former is cheesy, but the latter has a nicely hypnotic lo-fi feel. I actually wouldn’t have minded more tunes like “Bring Us The Sun” and the down-to-midtempo “Visible” over the more exuberant numbers that are hurt by stereotypical emo riffing.
Merritt’s voice is the most successful part of the band. With shorter durations and more succinct, pop songwriting, they could be an explosively fun band (some moments even reminded me of The Sounds). In the opposite direction, Merritt proves she can also do indie without overwhelming the music. But stuck inside the usual emo trappings, even good vocals can’t elevate “Arson Is For Lovers” above solidly average.
Bottom Line: Add half a star if you like Long Island-style emo pop.
Notable Tracks: Fess Up, Bring Us The Sun, Visible