Merrym’n – ‘Of The Five Towns’ EP Review

Receiving a copy of the latest creation from Merrym’n had me both excited and apprehensive. I’d been told this was a change in direction and, much like Don’t Call Me Ishmael, I only hoped he’d retained his unique sound.

‘Of The Five Towns’ is the brand new EP from Bob Moston, better known as Merrym’n.

’47 Bottle Kilns’, the first of five tracks, speaks of the demise of the Staffordshire pottery industry. It’s culturally and locally relevant, something that Moston is accustomed to, referencing the thousands of bottle kilns that once filled the skyline of the Potteries many moons ago. ’47 Bottle Kilns’ is a slow and somewhat sorrowful way to open an EP, reflecting on the way things were and how they are now.

‘Ashtrays In The Antiques Fair’ is the first glimpse of Merrym’n’s developed sound. Moston has laid down his acoustic sound in favour of a fuzzy electric guitar, that sprawls out across the track like a spider in a web. It’s reminiscent of Dinosaur Dancefloor, Bob Moston’s former band, but only because of the instrumentation. Everything else is Merrym’n’s own doing.

Bob Moston has a unique way of mapping out and delivering stories to your ears, through his honest ‘real-life’ lyrics and mood changing melodies. ‘Anna Of The Five Towns’ takes you on this journey, with every fine detail covered and enough thought provoking lyrics to last you the week. When Moston sings ‘how can you find happiness if the bus is always late?’, it’s quite obvious there’s more to this lyric than the unpredictable nature of public transport.

‘Driptray Serenade’ is over before you’ve even had time to eat your oatcake. It’s the sort of song that ends so abruptly, you end up awkwardly dancing for a few seconds longer than you should do, to the silence that follows after it’s finished. What you do get however, is a foot-tapping burst of electric guitar and two minutes of all round music goodness.

Closing ‘Of The Five Towns’ is the spooky ‘Elsie Saw A Ghost’. It begins quietly with a whirring-synth sound, giving the impression of something supernatural. Just as you begin to wonder whether you’re listening to a ‘Black Over Bill’s Mother’s’ track that didn’t quite make the cut, a piercing electric guitar appears from the shadows, ruling out any doubts that Merrym’n was returning to the safety net of his previous sound.

‘Of The Five Towns’ contains some of Bob Moston’s finest work. My initial worries soon disappeared when it became obvious that Merrym’n is still exactly the same, except he’s not afraid to experiment – musically.

Armed with a guitar, a refreshing outlook on life and some of the greatest song titles known to Stoke-on-Trent, Merrym’n continues to produce music to be proud of.

E.

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