Mermen, In God We Trust. The Mermen are a trio from Northern California led by Jim Thomas, who plays guitar, writes their tunes and produced this CD. This is their first release in almost 10 years. They are usually described as a psychedelic surf power trio, which is as good a description as any. You can hear echoes of The Byrds, Jerry Garcia and Neil Young, as well as the surf sounds of Dick Dale. Mostly, though, it just sounds like The Mermen. Great instrumental rock, melodic, dynamic and powerful, with layers of overdubbed guitars intertwined with the excellent drumming of Martyn Jones and bass of Allen Whitman.
The Blood of Heroes, The Blood of Heroes. This is a interesting mix of drum & bass, heavy rock, dub and reggae. I got it because of the participation of Bill Laswell, who plays bass. The album concept was apparently inspired by the movie of the same name, a 1989 post-apocalyptic flick starring Rutger Hauer. I haven't seen the movie, but it's easy to imagine the music as the soundtrack to something like that. Definitely on the aggressive side, but not grating. The disparate elements all fit together to create a strong album that doesn't sound quite like anything I've heard before. I'm mostly into purely instrumental music lately, but I really like the vocals of Dr. Israel, which work perfectly here.