After spending a few years playing in his brother Ed Baluyut's band, Versus, James Baluyut opted to go solo in 2001. The project was called Plus/Minus (+/-), and after a whirlwind year of writing and recording material, Baluyut released his first album, Self-Titled Long-Playing Debut Album, on Teenbeat Records in 2002. Baluyut was joined by Margaret McCartney and former Versus member Patrick Ramos on the album, but by and large it was Baluyut's baby -- he sang the songs, he played the instruments, and he even produced the album. He recruited a couple old friends to fill out Plus/Minus shortly after the first album was released -- Ramos joined the group on guitar and vocals, and Chris Deaner joined on drums. They got to work on some new songs, cobbling together what would become the band's signature synthy, jumpy sound. The group released its first EP, Holding Patterns, in 2004, and followed it up a few months later with its second full-length album, You Are Here. The second full-length marked the crystallization of Plus/Minus's signature blend of dream pop and hyperactive drumming. They went on tour in Japan, necessitating a premature release of their third album, Let's Build a Fire, and they followed it up with performances at SXSW and the Noise Pop festival. Soon after that, they landed a deal with Absolutely Kosher Records, which allowed them to put the finishing touches on their third full-length effort, Let's Build a Fire. It was released in late 2006.
~ Margaret Reges, All Music Guide
Meridene didn't set out to write an album about the pressures and paranoia Americans face during economic and cultural turmoil in the early stages of the 21st Century. Instead, they focused on writing an album to build upon their 2008 debut, You're Not Pretty, You're Worse which featured the punchy rock anthems and hard-hitting hooks that earned Meridene praise from college radio stations across the country. Their sophomore full-length album, titled Something Like Blood, solidifies the Eau Claire, WI four-piece as a dual threat by embodying both lyrically focused themes of fear and doubt, and a band realizing its full potential.
Something Like Blood was recorded over four intense days at the home-studio of Bon Iver, April Base, in the Northwoods of Wisconsin. Meridene also found support from fellow local musicians. The album was produced and mixed by Brian Moen (Peter Wolf Crier) with T.W. Walsh (formerly of Pedro The Lion and The Soft Drugs) mastering.
At their highest level of energy, the songs found on Something Like Blood attack with layers of charging guitars, sprawling keys and high-intensity percussion, while front man Trevor Ives' voice soars over it all with warnings about trust and inevitable loss on tracks like "Written Like Mad Sonnets" and "Gone, Baby Gone". Although the band has brandished a tight pop-rock sound on this album, the songs that make up Something Like Blood aren't all sprints. The title track, "Something Like Blood", and "Bible Belt" find their stride at slower speeds and impress with well-developed songwriting and organization. Their success is a sound somewhere between the pop-formula of The Shins and the intelligence of Cursive with traces of Death Cab For Cutie.
If it wasn't already, Meridene is certainly working on all cylinders now. Equal parts intelligent and variable songwriting, as well as socially conscious inspired lyrics and themes, Something Like Blood serves as a true example of a band coming into its own in the best way possible.
121 W. Main St
Madison, WI 53703
|Minimum Age: 21|
|Kid Friendly: No|
|Dog Friendly: No|
|Wheelchair Accessible: No|