On January 31st local rockers MERCH released This Betrayal Will Be Our End on SF’s Sassafras Records. This marks the band’s second release and first on the North Beach label/distributor. The brainchild of Joe Medina, MERCH began some years ago as a chaotic and confusing project – evidenced by anything-goes live performances and a number of different members.

It was the collapse of a seven year relationship that spawned the focus and drive for Medina to pen This Betrayal, an album taking roughly two years to complete. The finished product plays like an audio version of the five stages of grief – denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and acceptance – centering MERCH’s purpose now more clearly than their earlier days.

Most tracks feature the central presence of hard-driving cello sounds, played by Sam Bass of Les Claypool’s Frog Brigade, lending a unique and appropriate sound to the album’s shattered relationship to mending heart theme.

Stream/download the entire album above and on Sassafras Records’ Bandcamp page.

This Betrayal is also available on vinyl in select locations, and we’ve got two copies to give away! Just email contest

[at]thebaybridged.com to enter, and include “MERCH Album Giveaway” in the subject line. Good luck!