Merykid (aka Nick Mery, the 25-year-old local multi-instrumentalist) wouldn’t settle for a mere earth-bound run-of-the-mill debut LP. Instead, he went straight-up concept, telling the tale of an astronaut about to go into space, forever. At first I sided with the hysterical woman at the train platform, telling the protagonist in the album’s opening dialogue, “You are crazy!” Taking a steam engine into space does seem pretty nutso, not to mention the mish-mash of genres represented in the ensuing nine songs. Stylistically, Merykid is all over the place on The Raccoon, encompassing late ’90s alt-rock on “Thoughts to Sound,” impressive blues guitar on the brief “Going, Going,” and even a met-a-shady-lady-at-da-club autotuned slow jam on “Two Wrongs.” Merykid is at his best on “Astronaut” and “Whatever You Are (I’m Not),” which pairs elevated songwriting with the hushed electro influences of late Radiohead. The songs fulfill Merykid’s expository goals, and production courtesy of Morris Orchids’ Jaime Rader and Blowing Trees’ Jerid Stephens gives them a positively ethereal charge.
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