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Mercea - Island Ghost EP

Island Ghost EP
(independent) - 2015

Michael Panontin
For those who know their arcane geographic history, Mercea take their name from the former Mersea Township in Essex County just outside Leamington, where the band make their home. As is the case with all small towns - the Leamington area boasts 28,000 souls these days - the guys go way back. "Me and drummer Joseph T. Sarkis started playing music together at the age of fifteen, nearly twenty years ago, together and apart," Mercea's guitarist Joseph Nohra told CM. "I started working on material for our first record [2012's Ere Coda] when I finished university, and that was when we reconnected. Our bass player Jeremy Seip came out to one of our shows. He really liked what we were doing and he suggested that we get together and jam."

The six-track Island Ghost EP was released at the tail end of 2015 and for the most part treads much the same path as their first disc. Nohra concedes that Island Ghost was recorded in "what felt like a sea of uncertainty", and I suppose this would account for that vaguely weary quality running through much of it. But what is most impressive is how the band's music - terse and for the most part crisply written - is deceptively more complex than it first appears. This is thanks in no small part to Sarkis' highly inventive percussive backing, which is best evinced on the excellent 'Pilot Theory', easily the record's most interesting track.

(The guys have been hawking CD copies of Island Ghost for a mere fiver, but that lovely cover art would sure look swell sheathing a twelve-inch vinyl copy one day. Fingers crossed, I guess.)

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