Tuesday, November 27, 2012
Dallas’ Meridian releases stellar self-titled EP
The collective is made up of members of many former Dallas bands.
DALLAS With many former bands in their rearview mirror, Dallas’ Meridian has formed their own alt rock sound by taking the time to get it just right. The band jokingly says their first EP took three years to make, from the moment they formed, when in reality they started working on it in 2011. The time and attention spent on the album is obvious – sharp riffs define their orbital style and solid vocals we’ve been thirsty for. Every member played in Dallas bands of old, including Miser, Supercell, and South FM, which explains the organization and clean transitions reflected throughout the five-song album.
“We really wanted to take our time and do it right, to make all the songs as great as possible," said Guitarist Mark Sims via email. "We worked with David Castell and together broke down every song musically, lyrically, and melodically, and built them back up to be what you hear on the EP. It was a long process, but we are very pleased with the results.”
Producer Castell has worked with Blue October, The Toadies, Burden Brothers, and Smile Smile. His smart ear and attention to detail have made their marks on the record, giving it a clear trajectory and flow unusual for a freshman attempt. Opening track “Hey Lover” shoves the door wide open with Tim Ziegler’s volume and inflections. The group takes a defiant stand against Auto-Tune or synthesizers. Sims says this song was finished as fast as it was started, at the beginning of the writing process.
The guys flex their muscles using crisp melodies and unabashed confidence. Guitarists Sims and Shannon Nedved, plus former drummer Mo Martinez, played together in Miser, giving them that connection most bands fight to create. Martinez had to leave the band during the recording process because he and his wife were expecting their first child, which ushered in current drummer Joe Maurer. Meridian’s writing process is a group effort and usually starts with the perfect riff, which was the case in “All Hands.”
“Tim is in charge of melody and lyrics, but he's very open to all of our ideas. Chris deserves credit for bringing a lot of musical ideas to the table. That dude is a riff-writing machine,” said Sims. “Many of the tunes start with a Chris riff, then the group steers it where it needs to go.”
The only component missing from the debut EP is a softer track. With Ziegler’s strong vocals and their cohesive lyrics, an acoustic or slowed number could really show off their range and give them ample room for a sophomore release.
Meridian was released to iTunes on October 31; a release party is still in the works. Keep an eye on their website for the latest information.