The real excitement comes from looking forward.
Released: 1st April 2016
Merrick’s Tusk wear their influences on their sleeves. They have the word ‘reminiscent’ in their bio. They’ve rejected modern trends that have emerged in emo, the adoption of grunge and shoegaze, the sound of a thousand Title Fight cover bands.
Rather, ‘Regroup and Reform’, their second EP, hails back to a melodic indie-rock sound more associated with bands such as Mineral and Texas Is The Reason; harking back to the hopes and dreams of the mid-90’s, a step removed from 80s hardcore, but way before anyone started using the word ‘twinkle-daddy’.
Opener ‘25’ is initially a slow start but builds powerfully, with a repeated yell of “We’re wanderers through all of this.” Truly masters of the group vocals, the huge singalongs are where this record shines, and work to lift the pace of the EP, particularly on the Jimmy Eat World-esque ‘Solitude’.
The EP’s highlight, ‘Kepler’, with its “woah-oh”s and dissonant guitars, serves as a nod to the legacy of the much-adored, much-missed East Midlands emo titans Crash of Rhinos. It’s definitely something they pull off well, but it looks back; a statement the band is comfortable in making on the darker moments of ‘Old Ground’ – “Looking back won’t break us.”
Sure, there is room for that. There’s nothing inherently wrong with nostalgia and paying homage to those that came before, but there’s more to be said here; untapped potential to reimagine and redefine that sound. As the band develops, the real excitement is going to come from looking forward. Kristy Diaz