The Mermen - A Glorious Lethal Euphoria (Cover Artwork)

The Mermen

A Glorious Lethal Euphoria (1995)


At the risk of sounding low-brow with my introduction, allow me to say: This album is totally totally sweet. If I had never heard this, but were trying to explain it to myself, I'd say, "Imagine if Pelican were surfers instead of metalheads." Lazy, yes, but also right on if I do say so myself. Hey, thanks, I thought so too. It's instrumental, somewhat experimental (Sonic Youth?) surf-influenced pop/rock/punk music played at various tempos with varying levels of ambiance and atmosphere throughout. Like the ocean itself, it's soothing, meandering and pensive at moments; other times it's a speedy, dissonant wash of noisy heat. Production-wise, it certainly sounds just as fresh and huge today as it must have in 1995.

I cannot remove this album from the idea of driving...a more perfect open road record I've yet to find. I have numerous vague memories of driving around Southern California in the summertime as the sun set over the Pacific, this Glorious Lethal Euphoria spilling out of my car's open windows. It's blissful.

There are numerous unforgettable riffs and actual physically satisfying moments throughout the album, but I could also see it being dull to a new listener trying too hard to love this. It's pretty long, and with no vocals, it might be tough for some to wade through. I think it clocks in at over 70 minutes -- difficult to say, though, because I'll go a week with this just playing over and over in my tape deck. I'd be hard pressed to tell you exactly where it ends and starts over again, despite the fact that I've now had this for over four years.

If you have some room in your car's CD changer I suggest you drop this in there and just let it sit there all summer. It will be a favorite come fall, and June's next dawn won't come soon enough.