Then I heard this EP. At first I didn't like it. Too heavy for emo, not heavy enough to be metal. The vocals were good but it all seemed too much like what I wanted to avoid.
But something drew me back to it. And one day it clicked. I checked out the lyrics, and I found tales of alienation, broken families, fear of death, and the importance of friends. The EP is very strong partly due to it's structure. The first 3 songs are pure screamo, cruel, cold and empty. Both the songs and the lyrics paint an atmosphere of intense claustrophobia, and the pounding drums mimic an anxious and depressed mindset.
The next 3 songs are completely different. Sleep Patterns is a haunting acoustic spoken word piece and builds up perfectly to the next track, Good Weekend, which has almost a pop punk feel, as the band shout "NO REGRETS" and things start to look up. The finale, Something That Matters is the best song the band have written, and one of the best in the last 10 years. Huge drums, intricate guitars, tense build-ups, shouts, screams and singing about the importance of friendship.
Merchant Ships broke up after this EP, and if they will ever reunite seems uncertain. But as long as we have this, it might just be ok.