I’ve been trying t write about Merchandise for a while now, but I’ve been spending too many hours geeking out listening to Titus Andronicus and Ceremony to dedicate much time to other bands. Merchandise are this noise-pop threesome from Tampa, Florida, and they’ve been topping “tips for 2013” lists for a few months now. NME have been putting them on a pedestal for a while, but I just couldn’t get into them initially. Their older material is a lo-fi, droning post-punk owing a shitload of influence to Joy Division and early New Order and The Smiths. Full of squalling noise, hazy melodies and not much else beside blatant Ian Curtis fanboying.
But that was before I heard their newest track, ‘Anxiety’s Door.’
The JD influences are rife, but this newie – clocking in at seven minutes – owes more to The Smiths. For me, it just stings of ‘How Soon Is Now?’ – not so much in actual sound, but more in that arid, desert-y vibe with shimmering guitars and spacey, echoing percussion. Frontman Carson Cox’s voice is Morissey-like in its emotion and reach. If I listen to this song once, I’ll play it four or five times back to back. Layers upon layers of vocals. A massive step up from their proudly tinny, low quality DIY recordings.
The new track is from an EP called ‘Totale Nite,’ and it’s out pretty soon. The band are doing a big West Coast tour in support, where they’ll be playing a few shows with the brilliant IceAge from Denmark – but sadly they’re not together in LA, so I’ll have to catch them separately.
Merchandise have a blog, where you can download all their stuff for free. Go grab latest album ‘Desire.’