Mermen at the Haunted House

( 2 )

Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Charles Hodgkins
From the opening salvo of "Pull of the Moon"'s hellaciously swirling guitar riff, the Mermen's Live at the Haunted House reveals itself as an atypical live record. Culled from a series of frequent appearances between 1991-1994 on Phil Dirt's surf show broadcast on Los Altos Hills, CA's KFJC-FM, this 74-minute tour de force captures all the majestic reverb, lovely tonality, and loose humor that made this San Francisco trio cult favorites in the mid-'90s. As if acknowledging its unusual, live-in-the-studio limitations, Live at the Haunted House contains seven numbers never released on Mermen studio albums -- including the perennial showstopper "Casbah," on which ...
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Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Charles Hodgkins
From the opening salvo of "Pull of the Moon"'s hellaciously swirling guitar riff, the Mermen's Live at the Haunted House reveals itself as an atypical live record. Culled from a series of frequent appearances between 1991-1994 on Phil Dirt's surf show broadcast on Los Altos Hills, CA's KFJC-FM, this 74-minute tour de force captures all the majestic reverb, lovely tonality, and loose humor that made this San Francisco trio cult favorites in the mid-'90s. As if acknowledging its unusual, live-in-the-studio limitations, Live at the Haunted House contains seven numbers never released on Mermen studio albums -- including the perennial showstopper "Casbah," on which guitarist Jim Thomas uses his whammy bar as a virtual finger trampoline. "Slo Mo HVO" is shorthand for the band's wonderfully languid take on the "Hawaii Five-O" theme, while "Quiet Surf" and "Gulch of Spleens" an original song unavailable elsewhere each pulse with reserved sway. Finally, there is "The Whales Are Coming and Boy Are They Pissed," a meaty sloppy joe of surf standards, classic rock staples, Yiddish traditionals, and American show tunes. Bits of "Miserlou," "Paint It Black," "Hava Nagila," and "America" all provide high points throughout the track's 11 minutes and 32 seconds, none of which are as nutty as exhausted drummer Martyn Jones' faint screams of "Hurry up!" before the marathon medley's raging coda. Other feathers in Live at the Haunted House's cap are the updated versions of two songs from the band's distortion-free 1989 debut, Krill Slippin': "Lonely Road Krill Slippin'" and "Splashing With the Mermaid"; each brims here with additional warmth. Contrarily, the five songs that also appear in different versions on Food for Other Fish seem peripheral to the cause at hand; the apparent thrust of this album is to showcase songs unavailable elsewhere. Keeping that in mind while not expecting a live best-of set is perhaps the best way to enjoy this quirky, yet ultimately essential Mermen collection.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 7/3/2001
  • Label: M.b.(Burnside)
  • UPC: 614511200127
  • Catalog Number: 2001

Tracks

Disc 1
  1. 1 Pull of the Moon - Desperately Seeking Mandy (12:34)
  2. 2 Honeybomb (6:09)
  3. 3 Lonely Roard (Krill Slippin) (3:38)
  4. 4 Casbah - America (5:06)
  5. 5 Into the West - Be My Noir (10:45)
  6. 6 My Black Bag (5:45)
  7. 7 Gulch of Spleens (3:40)
  8. 8 Quiet Surf (2:49)
  9. 9 The Whales Are Coming & Boy Are They Pissed (11:32)
  10. 10 Unknown (2:22)
  11. 11 Splashing With the Mermaid (3:30)
  12. 12 Penetration (3:15)
  13. 13 Slo Mo Hvo (2:42)
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Album Credits

Performance Credits
Mermen Primary Artist
Allan Whitman Bass
Martyn Jones Drums
Jim Thomas Guitar
Technical Credits
Mermen Producer
Phil Dirt Producer, Engineer
James "Son" Thomas Composer
Dale Voelker Graphic Design
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 2 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 2 Customer Reviews
  • Posted October 1, 2010

    I Also Recommend:

    Great guitar music

    In an era of over=processed keyboard/computer music, it is refreshing to hear some authentic instrumental rock. Instead of some engineer pressing a knob that says guitar, this sounds like someone picked up a Fender Jazzmaster or Strat and decided to be expressive. This is an experience like hearing a live band back in the days when people actually played their guitars instead of the instrument playing them.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 26, 2008

    No text was provided for this review.

Sort by: Showing all of 2 Customer Reviews