From the hornet’s fury into the mouth of Johnnie Regalado:
In the constant ebb and flow of the west coast tidal scene, one musician has long been the point against which you could measure the high water mark. So many great artists have come ashore only to seek the rewards of music further ahead in the bigger cities. Through it all, Carey Mercer’s many masks (Blackout Beach, Frog Eyes, et al) have weathered on. His latest trio of releases has proven to be the surreal soundtrack to Mercer’s deepest and most personal narrative. Artifacts of a quiet man who shares loudly.
On Fuck Death we heard Mercer reject what he knows to be true: guitar solos and the inevitable black. Then we stagger on through Blues Trip where the songs of longing and loss are revisited. Stories of the past recounted with the intimacy of a close friend circle after a night of deep tragedy. Here, even the space between the notes drones heavy with emotion. Loss experienced. Loss understood.
And now Carey’s Cold Spring. This new Frog Eyes album was announced in tandem with Mercer’s own battle with throat cancer. Self-released and online only, the fleeting quality serves to mimic the irony. What better way to capture the sound of confronting your own mortality? There’s a restraint and optimism unheard in earlier Mercer releases. A look forward at a new path un-chosen. A reminder of life’s ability to set us in different directions. The beautiful braying sound of a boar dying in a tar pit.