Merchandise: After the End (4AD) Review | Under the Radar - Music Magazine

Merchandise

After the End

4AD

Aug 27, 2014 Web Exclusive Bookmark and Share


Since their inception in 2008 we've watched as Tampa five-piece Merchandise have morphed from DIY hardcore punks into reverb-drenched indie merchants on their excellent 2013 mini-LP Totale Night. Now it seems they have once again shed their skin. Vocalist Carson Cox has said their intention with this album was to "re-make ourselves as a pop band" and to a certain extent that's exactly what they've done, albeit with the sensibilities of a band who have experience in skirting the fringes of indie rock.

After the End sees Merchandise ditch the sprawling post-rock feedback of their most recent iteration in favor of taut rhythms and infectious melodies that sing with immediate gratification. If you've already heard singles "Little Killer," "Enemy," or "Green Lady" then the change will be startlingly apparent, their new sound falling somewhere between the melodic jangle of late-'80s British indie and the soaring hum of pre-grunge U.S. college radio. Carson's vocals resonate with a deep and unmistakably dulcet tone, particularly effective in unadorned form on tracks like "Life Outside the Mirror" or in the fug of title track "After the End," which he fills with distant hope.

After the End marks another new epoch in a surprising career. And while there's a definite chance that some of their established fans might be turned off, if you stick with it you'll start to see glimmers (as on final track "Exile and Ego") that Merchandisemuch like The National when they released Boxerare a band standing on the precipice of arena-filling stardom. (www.4ad.com/artists/merchandise)

 

 

Author rating: 8/10

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Average reader rating: 10/10



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