Thursday, July 30, 2009

Merel - Early Recordings 1990-1991

Merel were a hardcore band from New Jersey, and simply one of my favorite bands of the early '90s. By the time they released their only full length in 1993 (s/t on on Gern Blandsten Records), they had the emo tag firmly attached to them. But the material they recorded the years prior was just chaotic and melodic hardcore at it's best. The live version of Fountain Wishing (later re-recorded as Roadkill) sends shivers down my spine. To me it's one of the best hardcore songs on the '90s, if not of all time. This is a collection of the band's recorded material between 1990-1991. Most of it is not on the discography CD. It should have been. Enjoy!

Merel: The Early Recordings 1990-1991

The "Castles and Pies" demo was released in 1991. The first 3 tracks were recorded live on WFMU in May of 1991, and are my favorite tracks in the collection (they actually appear last on the actual demo, but these songs belong up front). The remaining 5 tracks of the demo were recorded between October and November of 1990 at Bunkie Studios. Back-up vocals on the live version of "The Give and The Take" by Justin. All other back-ups by the Schwantzes.

The "Superpowers" compilation cassette was released in 1992 on Troubleman Unlimited Records (their very first release). The 2 Merel tracks on this comp were recorded somewhere between 1990-1991. These tracks kick ass.

Thye band's s/t 7" was released in 1991 on Gern Blandsten Records. Most of these tracks were on the discography CD, aside from the last track, "Bile (The Golden Years)". Here it is in it's entirety.

Also included is the band's entire set recorded live on WNYU in 1990.

I cleaned up all the files as best as possible, removing all tape hiss and boosting the sound. The demo and Superpowers tracks sound better than ever. This is a crucial collection of excellent early '90s hardcore. Don't pass it up.

Jose Ruiz - vocals
Mike Solski - guitar
Jon Ariz - guitar
David Leto - bass
Greg Leto - drums

Merel continued on until 1993. They released a split 7" with Iconoclast in 1992 on Old Glory Records, and appeared on several compilations including "Fear of Smell" (1992 Vermiform) and "God's Chosen People" (1993 Old Glory). They released their LP on Gern Blandsten in '93 and broke up shortly after.

David and Greg Leto both went on to Rye Coalition.


  1. Vin, I hope that this is as succunct a piece of praise as it is intended to be- your blog is as indispensible to the late 00's as Dear Jesus or Bullshit Monthly were to the early 90's. The NY Hoods rips were amazing. A band I had never paid any mind, nor did I even recall that Gavin was in the lineup! The Swans live stuff!? Totallly out of left field, but amazing! More weird, random noisy stuff! Unsane, AmRep, early Sub Pop label, Midwest, Sonic Youth, etc. Maybe????? How about the Born Against or cXa demos?

    Loved the Merel, thanks for turning me onto Moss Icon, two bands that I had just missed due to my ascendency to art school in 92'.

    Dude, you going to Fear at Europa? Send me an e-mail...

    Thanks for keeping it riotous!

    Rich Trash

  2. Nice! This and Moss Icon tunes made my month! Thanks big time, dude.

  3. Rich, thanks for the praise and encouragement. I'm sure more weird and noisy stuff will eventually work it's way onto the blog. I may be getting a rip of the Born Against demo soon. As far as the CxAx demo goes, i promised Daryl i wouldn't put any Citizens Arrest on the blog, as an official discography is in the works. Maybe one day you can send me some Antiem stuff? I'd love to hear that, and of course post it here.

    Batguano, glad you're digging this stuff. Cheers.


  4. Thanks for the rare Merel (Rarel?). I didn't know these early recordings even existed. Living in the midwest, the closest I got to seeing them was seeing Rye while they promoted the Dancing Man tape, before they were the Coalition.

  5. Email me if you need a rip of the BA demo.

    - Brett

  6. So many great posts. The time and the care and the information is awesome and appreciated.
    Hope you can keep at it.
    Thanks for such great music!

  7. Brett, thanks for the BA stuff! It'll all be up eventually. Jon, thanks for the kudos.

    Hopefully i'll be getting some more rare Merel stuff in the near future.


  8. Merel is one of my all-time favorite bands. Try to get a hold of all of their stuff. Michelle over at Salmugundi Syncopation posted some Rye Coalition & I asked her if she had any obscure Merel. She directed me here. Thanks for this.

  9. Hey NO, Merel is one of all-time favorites as well. I was beyond excited when i found the WNYU set. Now if I can only find the entire WFMU set, i'll be a happy man.

    By the way, i actually got the track Bile (The Golden Years) from your blog (strange that it wasn't on the discography CD), so thanks!


  10. Damn thanks for this man. I had some real crummy cassettes with some of this stuff but never heard it like this. Happen to have the UOA demo or any unreleased material? The blog is ruling.

  11. JJ, thanks man. Glad you like the way it came out. It really is one of my favorite collections on the blog.

    No UOA demos or unreleased stuff unfortunately. But you never know.


  12. Just for the picture this tells me am in it for children screaming around, Look at them, hey look 12 year old kids pretending to be rock stars... I will listen to this just because, but I am certain I won't like it.

  13. You couldn't be more wrong. Just give it a listen.