MERX - 8 song CS (Skrot Up)

  Stellar eight song tape from German Army affiliates, Merx, and their first for the excellent Danish (mostly)cassette label, Skrot Up. Right out of the gate, this reminded me of a synth obsessed, Euro take on Samhain, respectfully. The vocals come off as dark baritone-driven passages, and shine a dim light on some of wave/punk's most notable front men. Danzig, Curtis, Vega, and even's all there in some mutated form or another. Their songs are concentrated bits of brittle, stripped guitars and muddy bass lines, acting mostly as a frail, gray backdrop for the staunch vocals to trample over. Their drum tone has a bare and primitive swagger, consisting of mainly programmed tribal thumps and empty snares, giving this album an undeniable Unknown Pleasures vibe at times, and the sweaty repetition of early Suicide at others. No complaints here.

 Minimalist punk, goth and dark wave are definitely in their bag, but it's not all they are limited to. There's plenty of original ideas flowing throughout this cassette, and Merx' songs are well crafted and fairly memorable. You could easily tell them apart from the slew of  "soft" and "black" bands that have surfaced recently. Another keeper from Skrot Up, and hopefully not the last we hear from Merx. Limited vinyl version out soon via Permanent Records.