[CD REVIEW] The Merriweather Deer - Archives EP (2010)

[CD REVIEW] The Merriweather Deer – Archives EP (2010)

Time of your life

LABEL: 獨立發行 (Independently Released)
LANGUAGE: 英語 (English)
RELEASE DATE: 2010-11-14
RATING: 8.0

“Cities”, the opening track to The Merriweather Deer’s ep Archive isn’t exactly what I would consider “merry”.  Front man Ephraim screams the lines “These cities bound to fall apart from generation’s multiply,” conjuring up cryptic imagery of catastrophic times — not exactly in tune with what naturally pops in my mind when I think of the words “Merry”, “Weather”, or “Deer".  Silly, but the music I was expecting based on the band’s name would be something along the lines of all-age, jolly, harmless feel good songs.  While the music here isn’t abrasive, it’s not exactly kiddie friendly either.

The story behind The Merriweather Deer’s (The Mw Deer for abbreviation’s sake) formation is like all side-projects usually go — members from different bands get together, start jamming and a new band is born.  The only difference about The Mw Deer, is that this happened within a few short months’ time.  Getting its start in early 2010, the band soon came to be known as a sort of “super-group”, made up of members from local indie-legends such as Audiotraffic, Shepherds of the Weak, Noughts and Exes and The Lovesong.  With these divergent backgrounds, The Mw Deer does end-up sounding something in between the four group’s music styles.  Not to say this is a bad thing, tracks like “I, Destroyer” channels the best of intense post-hardcore/indie-rock magic of The Lovesong.  While other tracks like “She Comes To Me As Mystery” takes on the subdued ala Noughts and Exes.  It’s true the band isn’t tearing the walls down in originality, but they make-up for it in pure sincerity, tightness and energy.

Though what’s more interesting is the story behind this very record, Archives.  After playing a few gigs under The Mw Deer moniker, Ephraim shook members by announcing his indefinite leave from Hong Kong.   The band, with no plans to find a replacement, wasn’t quite sure what to do.  Of course, it is during this time they are bestowed the biggest moment since their formation, dated just a few days before Ephraim’s departure, an opening spot for The Raveonettess and The Flaming Lip’s gig in Hong Kong.  The group wanting to have a recording/release for the occasion, put Archives together on a tight schedule.  The album saw the light of day with the help from the band’s friends and others, and the beautifully produced green digipack is what they have to show for their efforts.

Unfortunately, Archives may be the last of what we will be hearing from the group – last year’s cd release party in November doubled as a farewell party for Ephraim, and at the moment The Mw Deer is on indefinite hiatus.  It’s ok though, as for people in the know, Archives is like its title, a sort of trinket or sonic documentation to all music lovers.  And for the band members themselves?  Consider this a prime example of nine months well spent.

P.S.: Archives can now be purchased digitally on Indiemusicbox.com

Recommended tracks / 推薦曲目: 01, 02, 04

Track Listing / 專輯曲目:
01. Cities
02. I, Destroyer
03. Different Light
04. Keep it to a Minimal
05. Tenements Will Fall
06. She Comes to me as Mystery

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lojun

I like to spend my time on the internet searching for the meaning of life. When I am not doing this you can find me listening to music or playing the bass…or stuffing myself silly on Burritos.

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