Portland in Oregon is the home of The Mercury Tree, a power trio made up of Ben Spees (vocals, guitars, keyboard), Oliver Campbell (bass) and Connor Reilly (drums). They mine a noir vein of alt-rock/grunge/swamp blues that seems to be profoundly influenced by 1990s alternative bands Alice In Chains, Stone Temple Pilots, and Soundgarden. It’s a dark and powerful sound and The Mercury Tree fits right in with those heavy-hitters.
The band just released their latest, fourth full-length, Permutations, at the end of March and its 10 songs churn mightily with forceful dynamics and creep along with foreboding menace. The album follows up their previous release, 2014’s album Countenance, and it continues the sonic progress from the previous record.
Permutations serves as a way for The Mercury Tree to explore its more experimental tendencies. As a result, listeners who like having a mix of different genres into an entity will probably enjoy this release. This album demonstrates a sense of trialing that isn’t found nearly enough within the genre; rather than repeat the same successful formula, The Mercury Tree has pushed itself out of its comfort zone a bit while also ensuring that all of its quintessential elements remain intact. There’s no question that the band is at the top of its game, and Permutations is surely one of its greatest achievements.