Merit, a four-piece alternative rock band from Syracuse, NY. The band consists of members: Wil Mecum (bass), Jeff Nelson (drums), Hal Appleby (guitar), and Brenna Merritt. Merit formed in 2002, when Mecum and Nelson, two friends and Syracuse University students hooked up with local singer, songwriter Brenna Merritt and guitarist Hal Appleby.
The band remained in Syracuse after graduation. During that time the band played at local venues, trekked out to NYC, and started touring around the United States. Merit has shared a stage with many renown acts; Thousand Foot Krutch, Liz Phair, Stage, Bif Naked, and The Reputation.
The band recorded their first demo in May 2003. Through local radio support, they caught the attention of Aux Records, an indie label in Syracuse, New York. A year later, the band cut their first full-length album, When We Fight. The record was well received by many NY state radio stations and the band won the Brian Bourke Award for best New Artists at the 2004 Syracuse Area Music Awards. Two years later, the band released their sophomore self-titled full-length album. The CD featured a majority of acoustic tracks showcasing their softer side.
This past summer the band recorded their third CD “Arson is For Lovers” with John Naclerio (Brand New, Bayside, MCR). A little over a month ago, they self-released it as a free download on their website. It hit the same day that their video “Hold Everything” went live on YouTube. Since going live, the album has been downloaded over 1,500 times and video has streamed over 6,000 hits.
Merit’s musical ability and talents are exhibited on this 10-track album. “Cut and Run” is a captivating opening track that sets precedence for the entire album. The heavy drumming and guitar riffs create a mesmerizing rock melody that captivates your soul. This along with the distinct and sweet sound of vocalist, Brenna Merritt, is pure music to the ears.
In addition to the opening track, songs like “Fess Up,” “Arson is For Lovers,” and “Blue Bedroom” feature both enthralling upbeat hard rock melodies and heartfelt lyrics.
While Merit can definitely rock out, slower songs like “Morning Dove” and “Visible” show Merit’s seamless ability to be musically versatile.