A Glorious Lethal Euphoria
Jim Thomas, guitar
Allen Whitman, bass
Martyn Jones, drums
Release date: May 1, 1995
Produced by Jim Thomas
Executive Producer: Tardon Feathered / Jim Snowden
Recorded by Tardon Feathered / John Karr
Mastered by Ken Lee/Rocket Labs
"...'The Drowning Man Knows His God' plunges into currents of guitar distortion as the drums sculpt shrines to honor it. Feedback a la Hendrix's 'Third Stone from the Sun' courses through 'Pulpin' Line,' and 'With No Definite Future and No Purpose Other Than to Prevail Somehow' floats in relaxing eddies of delay. Surf bands often have trouble sustaining original melodies, but 'Scalp Salad' proves that the Mermen can develop a memorable melody and dissect it at will. Dig the bass drum and pimpin bass line on the manic 'Drub,' and the delicate guitar that molts into a monster of the epic 'And the Flowers They'll Bloom.' The closing number, 'Brahms 3rd Movement 3rd Symphony' is a successful experiment. the exquisite interplay between bass and guitar echoes Brahms bass part and the added flourishes work.."
-- David Beran, Gavin
"...a variety of viscous, psychedelic tracks that push the boundaries of surf music with a sound that is sometimes mystical, sometimes in-your-face brutal and sometimes acid-influenced but always uniquely personal and drenched in emotion. Guitarist and primary composer Jim Thomas demonstrates six-string mastery with his contorted, feedback-laden tones...The band uses ocean-oriented music as a springboard for exploring other instrumental formats--from too-sweet classical arrangements to nine-minute, tripped-out guitar pilgrimages. Listening to A Glorious Lethal Euphoria
is like skinny dipping in the Pacific--harsh but extremely exhilarating."
--Judi Blackwell, Metro (Santa Clara)
"Post Hendrix psychedelia meets rampaging, balls-to-the-wall surf guitar on this thinking mans shred album. Run, dont walk, to the nearest record store."
--Guitar World Magazine
"...A sea of grunge, distortion and hard lurching drums cover A Glorious Lethal Euphoria
; the songs are heavier and more hyper than anything by traditional beach boys. The Mermen play hardcore neo-surf for and by a punk-rock generation."
--Laura DeMarco, Alternative Press
"...A Glorious Lethal Euphoria
is a polished exercise in dynamics. If there was ever a band that could lure you in with gentle, swirling guitar and a relaxing rhythmic pulse just before tearing you limb from limb with hurling sonic supremacy, its The Mermen. True to surf form, this ones instrumental, and you can rest assured the band leaves no room for vocals. With sheer power and pure sonic ecstasy, The Mermen are almost better than sex... A Glorious Lethal Euphoria
will put casual listeners into a trance state and make accomplished and aspiring guitarists alike drool uncontrollably."
"...A Glorious Lethal Euphoria
...shows the band to be adept at maneuvering through various styles of instrumental rock. The Mermen do not shy away from creating whole miniseries worth of atmosphere within each little nugget of song...Unlike most surf bands, the Mermen...stick to original pieces, sliding through various tempos and textures, always powered forward by the fat, sinuous sound of Jim Thomas' booming electric guitar."
--Gina Arnold, San Francisco Chronicle
The Mermen's 1995 instrumental CD, A Glorious Lethal Euphoria
, features the band's unique nouveau surf sound, amid Jim Thomas' amped-up guitar thrash and the amazing bass of Allen Whitman. It's surf through and through, and yet it's not - the listener hears influences such as Neil Young and nods towards Sonic Youth, all drenched in reverb and dripping with melody. All in all, some of the most creative ideas thrown under the banner of 'surf music' in quite some time. A Glorious Lethal Euphoria
is a mind-expanding experience to be sure, and at over seventy minutes, you'll be riding the waves of a new kind of tunage. Not your daddy's surf music.
-- Guitar 9
"...This west coast surf power trio has surfed in on far more polluted waters than their ancestors and their...sound is as pungent as any 90s punk meets grunge attitude. The Mermen swim in an instrumental sea of distortion that never loses sight of the 60s sound they've so wonderfully mutated. Along with heavy doses of reverb and distortion, the Mermen tap into Hendrix, progressive, and psychedelia to explore a vast raging expanse of acid/angst waves."
--J. Pulver, The Music Advocate
"...Of the 14 tracks..., only a few accelerate through changes at classic hell-bent surf tempos. Most take their slow, sweet time exploring colors and dynamics more closely associated with the psychedelia that begat Hendrix, Cream, et al...Bassist Allen Whitman and drummer Martyn Jones provide supple and powerful underpinnings of pulse and beat for Jim Thomas...Thomas builds gorgeous, multi-chambered structures shaded with timbres and tones that only a handful of axe heroes can master...A Glorious Lethal Euphoria
is a captivating suite of underwater raptures and wet dreams."
--Derk Richardson, SF Bay Guardian
"...Heavier than surf, its got punch--Jimmy Page punch. And Jimi Hendrix punch. And lots of it...The Mermen, and particularly guitarist Jim Thomas, have morphed surf music into a new age. Thomas will be a reluctant guitar hero, but he will be one nonetheless, and there's a lot of his fluid, water-like ebb-and-flow guitar to absorb in the 74 minutes that make up A Glorious Lethal Euphoria
. Catch Thomas' wave now, because he's doing it first and, so far, best."
--Raoul Hernandez, The Austin Chronicle
"...blazing instrumentals. Guitarist Jim Thomas wields one of the most intensely ugly, feedback-laden tones since Bruce Anderson and Helios Creed...definite attempts at shattering the sound barrier...Thomas forges plenty of molten riffs...that rock much harder than the current wave of instrumental units..."
--Richard Proplesch, Jam Magazine
"...Glorious Lethal Euphoria
contains gorgeously complex phrases and dreamy, Latin-titled oceanscapes the luxuriate in their obliviousness to time...Supremely unrushed, the divine textures seduce us like the melancholy bleatings of Arctic whales, drawing us beneath the waves into the subaqueous heaven where Neptune rules and the cares of the world, the muffled sound and fury above the surface, no longer matter."
--Andrew Lentz, Los Angeles Reader
"...ferocious and haunting instrumentals of an almost orchestral density. Whether roaring through lethal little string-benders such as 'Pulpin Line' and the punkish 'Drub' or riding the mesmerizing waves of feedback and melody on...epics such as 'Obsession for Men' and 'Between I and Thou,' the Mermen never collapse into surf kitsch or fall back on the genres beloved but overfamiliar cliches...'The Drowning Man Knows His God'...mutates into a complex descending riff of barely restrained dread and finally wipes out in a squall of doomy guitar noise...The burbling underwater atmospherics...and the shimmering riffs...disguise intricate arrangements, and the muted arpeggios and grandiose leanings are a long way from Wipe Out...."
--David Dudley, New Times
"...roar like a fierce riptide on the shores of punk...Its psychedelic garage-rock that follows a jagged coastline, bridging precision and distortion."
Paul Robicheau, Boston Globe