Album Review: The Mercury Tree – Countenance

Two months have passed since my last blog post, and you guys are still reading this?!

I am completely surprised that this blog is still getting consistent viewers after a couple months of inactivity. To honor those really dedicated fans, I’ve decided to post my first blog post in a while. As I mentioned in my last post, I’ll only be posting randomly from this point forward until I say otherwise. So, sit down and enjoy my take of The Mercury Tree’s “Countenance.”

Hailing from Portland, Oregon, The Mercury Tree consists of Ben Spees on vocals/guitar/keys, Connor Reilly on drums, Oliver Campbell on bass, and Aaron Clark on the fretless bass. That’s right, two bass guitarists, whose presence is very noticeable throughout the entire album. It’s hard to compare this album with anything on my iTunes Library because of their experimental sound. The closest genre I can distinguish them to be is an odd mix of progressive rock, experimental rock, and math-rock, with hints of jazz and psychedelic.

Having only released their album a couple months ago, The Mercury Tree has already found much support from Progarchives. I am happy to be among the many in support of their third LP. The amount of creativity is apparent, since each song seems to have its own musical influence, while at the same time flowing perfectly into each other. Spees’ work on the guitar ranges from jazzy, to spacey, to folksy, to downright dark. The song “The Ellsberg Cycle” is a perfect example of all these styles combined.

the mercury tree
Photo by Prog Sphere

Two instrumentals make the album, being “Mazz Jathy” and “Jazz Hands of Doom.” If you guessed that these two songs have jazz influences, then you are correct! The bass presence is amazing in these two songs, and makes me want to crank it up (with no treble)! The combination of Campbell and Clark is my favorite thing about this album, which brings that deeper and darker sound that is forgotten in most albums nowadays.

If you’re a fan of bands like The Album Leaf, Radiohead, Porcupine Tree, King Crimson, and your favorite jazz band, then you’ll love “Countenance” by The Mercury Tree. It’s experimentation alone is worth the listen, as the album genre-jumps from song to song. It is impossible to be bored through this album because of the musicianship and orchestration that this band provides. Please support this band by visiting their Bandcamp site and checking out their music.

themercurytreecountenancecoverPreview and purchase “Countenance” by The Mercury Tree by clicking the album cover above!


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