The Merci Buckets teamed up with Keith Hallett to record their debut album. Executive Dysfunction is the first single from those sessions.
The first time I saw The Merci Buckets, I was floored. They were playing The Cap, the room was dark, the place was packed, and everyone was into what was happening on stage. It was a spectacle of high energy rock and roll unlike anything I’ve seen in far too long, locally or otherwise. I will never forget hearing this band for the first time, getting all those first time feels. You know the kind. Those moments when your hair stands up, or you get the shivers as your brain struggles to process all you are seeing and hearing in that one magical moment. What is this sound? What are these feelings? It’s like falling in love. No. It is falling in love. So I guess, the first time I saw The Merci Buckets, I fell in love.
As with most good things related to love, one of the first questions anyone asks is, “when can we do this again?” While my first time seeing The Merci Buckets remains the only time I’ve seen The Merci Buckets (and I hope that changes soon), I was excited to learn they had teamed up with Fredericton based label and management company She Said Feck Records. As far as I was concerned, this was further insurance that I’d not seen the last of The Merci Buckets. When I found out they were working with Keith Hallett at his Never Nuthing Recording Studio, my first thought was “Dream Pairing!” followed shortly thereafter by, “Yes! An album!” And now we’re getting our first taste of the fruits of those sessions.
Executive Dysfunction, the band’s latest single, delivers a lot of the same energy I was just talking about. It’s erratic, and chaotic, and unchained in the best of ways. But most importantly, it sounds fresh and new, thanks in part to Hallett’s production.
“We took a live off the floor approach,” said Hallett. “I just really wanted to capture their live intensity and so it made sense to me to keep the sound raw and trashy for quite a few of the tunes. We hit tape hard and embraced bleed. It never took more than a few takes for them to nail down a good bed track. They were a great crew to work with.”
“Keith is on the same wavelength as us,” said bassist Paul Hayes. “He provided us with the most creative mindset, just by the way he thinks about recording. He gave us the advice, ‘Don’t dwell too much on it because you’ll make yourself crazy trying to make it perfect’. There wasn’t enough tape to keep multiple takes of the same tune, so we had to sort of go with one of the few takes we did and move on.”
This few-take approach resulted in a raw sounding recording that serves the band’s energy driven delivery blending the elements of punk and hardcore with more progressive structures.
Executive Dysfunction is the first single from The Merci Buckets’ forthcoming debut album, Allure, expected to arrive in early 2024.