Lower Merian – The Drop Off

Lower Merian
The Drop Off

This Southern New Jersey band recently recorded its first demo, four songs, three of which are available on their mp3.com page. From “The Drop Off,” I get a sense that their most unique quality is the rather shaky vocals. Certainly bands like The Promise Ring and Joan of Arc have showed that you don’t have to be an incredible singer to convey power and emotion, but these guys, while not sounding terrible, just sound unconfident. The music itself is decent enough, however, a rather normal mix of indie rock and mainstream driving rock.

The song starts off with multiple singers, and frankly they don’t sing especially well, especially with little accompaniment. Immediately I think this is going to be a Fuel-style song, little more than a current take on 80’s power ballads. But then the drums and guitars really kick in, and the poor vocals are less noticeable. The song takes on a more powerful feel, and it benefits from this approach.

Unfortunately, they go back and forth between those two styles. Again the song slows down, and you get those uncertain vocals with just guitar accompaniment, and then it starts rocking again, with powerful rhythms and driving guitar licks.

Not bad for a first start, as it is just the band’s first demo, but a little too heavy on the radio rock influence, and the vocals still need to be cleaned up. Might be worth another chance in the future, however.