We’re not told to be nice here at Amps and Green Screens, we’re told to be honest. So I’ll just come out swinging. MERIDIANS newest release, The EP is bad. The music isn’t the worst thing I’ve ever heard, but nothing is very memorable, and the mix is AWFUL. I respect programmed drums. I understand we all don’t have a huge budget to track live, but whatever the fuck this band is doing is atrocious. It completely reminds me of a demo from a local Metalcore band on MySpace circa 2006. Cymbals cutting out at weird times and panned to weird spots as well; no thank you. There’s a line between “We have no budget” and “We don’t care enough to pay attention to the details, and if we do, we sure as shit don’t show it.”
Now, once you get past all that, the music itself is not completely horrible. I can see what they were going for; a Metalcore band with orchestral/synth elements. Definitely not a bad niche to go after, but it HAS to be executed properly. The choruses would actually be sick if they just saved some money and sent some tracks to an actual producer, but in their current state, it sounds like the clean vocals were accidentally left untouched in the mixing process, and just placed in the song for shits and giggles. There’s a lot of potential here, and I really do mean that, but as it stands right now, with what they’ve given me to judge, I can’t say many good things.
In the song “Big Ben” there’s a gnarly breakdown near the end, but I couldn’t get into it because it sounds so bad that I didn’t really want to continue listening. While we’re at it, what the hell is going on with “The Winter Is Cold (My Heart Is Colder)”? The track is mixed wildly different than the rest of them; the vocals become REALLY loud, and literally all of the instruments take a very far step back. I’ve released my fair share of bad demos and shiesty sounding material, but that was when I was in 9th grade and just learned how to record, before so many programs were available to practically do it FOR YOU. There’s no excuse any more.
I understand putting out music. I’m totally behind letting people know who you are and getting a body of work out there, but a small budget split between band members for a proper mix and master is nothing short of the best investment you could EVER make for your band. The clean vocalist has a lot to offer these songs, but it sounds like garbage. The main vocalist has some killer range, but it sounds like garbage. The guitars, bass, drums, and background elements could wreck shop, but it. Sounds. Like. Garbage.
Let me be clear, I’m in no way, shape, or form trying to say “Giv up u suk” or some shit. Not at all. There is a plethora of potential here within this band, but people these days have to think before they act. Instead of, “YO, LET’S PUT THIS EP OUT NOW NOW NOW.” and risk making yourself look like another one man bedroom Soundcloud project that will fall away into an ocean of others that sound equally as crummy, it should be: “What steps can we take to make this as professional as possible? What can we possibly do to make absolutely sure our art shines in the best ways we could fathom?”.
Commercially viable metalcore with pop-ish choruses doesn’t sound like shit or half-assed. Because it can’t. Because when it sounds bad, no one takes it seriously. These fellas put their hearts on the line to write these songs and do what they love… So why put out anything less than the absolute 110% best you can muster? I hope these guys give it another go in a professional studio. I would actually love to hear this body of work mixed with the care and respect that a musician’s art is entitled to. As of right now? I’d rather not listen again.
STANDOUT TRACKS: “Pilot”, “Big Ben”