The art of pinning down a band in just a few generic descriptions or a handy soundbite is the stock-in-trade of the music reviewer but I have to admit that it will take a better man than me to concisely pin down Big Merino. It isn’t that the album Suburban Wildlife is rudderless or eclectic, it is anything but, the songs hang wonderfully together, always feel the product of the same band and part of the same album. It’s just that so many styles and genres, past echos and future portents fall under their gaze under across this 10 track selection that they cover a lot of ground. There are not to many modern bands given to such stylistic rampaging across the genres and you have to look back at bands such as 10CC for a comparable approach regarding their musical scope.
How Can You Be So Sure is a bluesy gospel work-out, Turn This Boat Around heads into sun-kissed reggae climes and Black Water rocks like a good ’un. When they kick back they fall effortlessly into accessible Americana and smooth, well rounded folk and when they want to make an impression anthem ready blues and rock salvos are their go to modus operandi.
It’s probably a cliche bordering on college journalism to say things like, there is something for everyone or that they cover all the musical bases but until I find a way of tying down their mercurial and exploratory approach then I’m afraid you will have to put up with such phrases.