Katarzyna NINa Górnisiewicz
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Merrin – Mr. Dominant (song review) |self-released, 2016|
Merrin are a band from Wellington, New Zealand. Judging by their newest single's vibe, the quartet is aiming to gain attention worldwide, presenting a potential hit - something the music industry is always on the lookout for.
The song's low, energizing groove and excellent vocals should agitate listeners already from the very beginning. The arrangements placed swiftly within a solid body holding the entire composition, clearly shared between verses and choruses, make for a really catchy and powerful song. Any chart topper needs to have some repetitions to remain memorable, but in this case there’s not a single second of boredom here.
'Mr. Dominant' begins with vocals that are followed by drums (Richard Maxwell Jr), guitar (Karl Wootton) and bass (Lisa Tagaloa). The rhythm is bouncy making the track instantly memorable, yet it ends on a perfect, popular note with all instruments bringing the rhythm to a gentle stop. Melodically, 'Mr. Dominant' fuses rock, pop, funk and metal vibes thanks to edgy guitar riffs, the overall structure, and the catchy groove. Riffs and drums are less dense, unlike when utilized in purely metal tracks, so the song may find its way to various listeners, not bound to any specific genre. Every instrument, including the voice, has accurate placement, and everything is timed flawlessly. Even if the song may sound spontaneous at first, there's quite a lot of math hiding underneath.
The timbre of the vocals is very interesting, since they sound quite 'androgynous' - the voice could belong to either a woman or a young man, and it’s hard to say before you have a look at the band’s line-up. It's rebellious, confident, and distinctive - it can tap into higher notes easily but it mostly keeps a lower, almost masculine tone somewhere in the middle. Its range intrigues as well. To satisfy your curiosity, the person behind the voice - Charlie Phillips - is female. Being gifted with a voice like this, she should expect many opportunities in the music industry (and beyond, e.g. voice acting in movies or games) sooner or later. It seems that singing comes effortlessly to her - on top of that, her voice is easily recognizable.
Lyrically, 'Mr. Dominant' refers to the act of seduction of an alpha-male man, so called 'the old electric masculine' driven by own ego and thus, always wanting to be in control. How could a female be in control of such a guy, then? Using her sexiest attributes, according to the song writer.
Overall, the song is great for any kind of media placement, and will surely stir the physical energy of listeners, whether it is aired on worldwide radio or included on a personal playlist. The song's recognizable fragments may be a good match for a TV advertisement as well. Guano Apes, Nico, Living Colour, Deftones, and Rage Against the Machine - you could probably name these if you really need a sonic reference, but make sure to check out other songs by Merrin, streamed on their social profiles.
(Katarzyna 'NINa' Górnisiewicz, Fabryka Music Magazine, May 12th, 2016. Proofreading: Mike 'Vesper' Dziewoński)