Merryweather Stark are the duo of elder statesman Neil Merryweather and guitarist and one man Wikipedia of all things Swedish rock – Janne Stark, who reconvene on album #2.
Written by: gdmonline
ARTIST: Merryweather Stark
ALBUM: Rock Solid
LABEL: GMR (Ginza)
COUNTRY OF ORIGIN: USA, Sweden
LINEUP: Neil Merryweather – vocals * Janne Stark – guitars, bass * Michael Maysonet – drums
TRACK LISTING: 01 Keep Your Eyes On The Prize * 02 Rock Solid * 03 Eat The Rich * 04 No Wiggle Room * 05 Mean Streets * 06 Sweet Freedom * 07 It’s So Sweet * 08 Burnin’ * 09 Highway Of Life * 10 Love Is The Meaning Of Life
The duo of elder statesman Neil Merryweather and guitarist and one man Wikipedia of all things Swedish rock – Janne Stark, reconvenes on album #2. It’s been nearly three years in between drinks for Merryweather Stark, the rock music on display is definitely as per the album title.
The duo along with drummer Michael Maysonet deliver an at times old school rock package meeting earthy hardened blues wrapped up in a modern context. The Easter Island monuments on the album cover are a good graphical representation of what Neil, Janne and Michael are all about.
It’s all very earthy, bluesy and groove heavy, as evidenced by the tough as leather ‘Keep Your Eyes On The Prize’, whereas ‘Rock Solid’ leans more toward the blues side of the alley. ‘Eat The Rich’ didn’t hit the mark for me, it was just too rough and coarse around the edges, so too those dour vocal choruses. ‘No Wiggle Room’ sees MS rip into it with gusto, an energetic romp for certain. Much better.
‘Mean Streets’ sounds like something that Bobby Barth and Axe would do, what with those thick edge riffs and echoed vocals. ‘Sweet Freedom’ is the album’s slow-mo moment, the vocal is kinda mournful, sounding like a modern southern rock number. Hard to ignore the southern bluesy vibe of ‘It’s So Sweet’, straight out of Georgia or Alabama, while ‘Burnin’ was another to not hit the mark, the track sounded stuck in third gear both musically and vocally.
‘Highway Of Life’ was a bit of a tough listen, if it was a musical interpretation of the song title then it was probably on point. The mainly acoustic/electric hybrid ‘Love Is The Meaning Of Life’ was a nice way to finish up. The stacked vocals made for a nice change.
Released toward the end of 2020, ‘Rock Solid’ flew under the radar, and its only now several months that we’re reviewing it. The material here is not as engaging as the debut ‘Carved In Rock’ I feel, it’s a very dour listen throughout with only a couple of tracks standing out. For those who enjoy the classic rock blues thing (believe me when I say there are thousands of bands out there playing in this style) you might enjoy this, others less so.