CD Review: The Merrymaker’s Orchestrina “Act 3”

The Alternative Rock band The Merrymaker’s Orchestrina is the brainchild of songwriter/guitarist/vocalist Ryan Shivdasani who, along with Sal A. Mander on drums, and Daryl Chen on bass (or Danny Wolf on drums and Jack Redford on bass, depending on the situation), combine to form a trio that blends together different styles of music to bring Shivdasani’s vision to life. The band is currently promoting their new album entitled Act 3

The Merrymaker’s Orchestrina’s album Act 3 opens with the fluid, bass-driven attack of the short “Together”, a cut coming in at just a hair over the minute thirty mark, but nonetheless packing all of the expected power of a much longer song. Songwriter, guitarist, singer and general creative visionary behind The Merrymaker’s Orchestrina, Ryan Shivdasani, has an unusual voice, not “pleasing” in the traditional sense, but possessed with such unique idiosyncratic qualities you find yourself irresistibly drawn into his web. 

“Particle Craze” is the album’s first full length song and Shivdasani has tabbed this particular number as a single for good reason – it’s wonderfully complete in its representation of how well Shivdasani has tied up a number of musical threads into a common line of sound and structure informing Act 3 on the whole. It’s not often we encounter a truly unique sound in the 2018 music scene, but The Merrymaker’s Orchestrina more than fit the bill.

“Watched You Out My Window” is one of the album’s finest songs with a near languid performance and slightly dazed, disjointed melody at its center. The mood from this track seems to suggest loneliness and despair, but Shivdasani’s wont isn’t ever to treat such themes with a heavy hand. Instead, “Watched You Out My Window” hits such a successful stride thanks to its union of lyric and musical atmospherics and never strikes a false note.

The patient, march-like tempo of “East of Eden” works well with a stronger electric guitar presence from Shivdasani than we heard with earlier tunes. There’s a little bit of hope and a whole lot of empathy in this track and the relaxed vocal from Shivdasani enhances its power.

“Enemy” ranks alongside “Particle Craze” and “Watched You Out My Window” as the album’s best tracks. The darker moods only hinted at with the latter tune are in full evidence here, but Shivdasani once again stylizes the presentation in a way all his own. The rhythm section performance is especially strong with this track.

The playful musical and lyrical tone of “Anarchy” contrasts well with its title and helps make this potentially one of the sleeper gems included on this release.

The anti-religious screed “There’s No Such Thing as God” won’t offend believers, I think, because there’s some of the same playfulness behind the track that we heard with “Anarchy”, but I don’t think Shivdasani is worried at all about offending Christians or anyone else for that matter.

The album finale “Wait Behind” revisits the seldom heard acoustic side of this project for a solidly singer/songwriter sort of outing. It’s, arguably, the straightest number on Act 3 and serves as an outstanding closing curtain for the album. Ryan Shivdasani has made an impressive statement with this release and clearly entered the recording studio with a vision for how he wanted this album to sound. He’s succeeded wildly and we can expect even greater things from this project in the future.

The Merrymaker’s Orchestrina is currently promoting the Act 3 release with their current single “Particle Craze”. Click HERE to see the video.

To check out the Act 3 release from The Merrymaker’s Orchestrina, click on the album cover below: 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The preceding review was written by  Rock and Roll Report Contributor 

Loren Sperry

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