Merchandise – After The End /4AD/2014

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After The End is the fourth album from Tampa 5-piece Merchandise. The name Merchandise is derived from the song by Fugazi. Merchandise has released numerous records, EPs and tapes on independent punk labels and are veterans of the DIY scene.

While not a clone of Morrissey, singer Carson Cox does embody certain elements of Moz’s vocal delivery and nuances. RIYL another band that often had Morrissey’s name attached to all their profiles, Voxtrot or the crooning Daughn Gibson.

Track 4, “Green Lady” hews towards a synthy ‘80s sound (along with cheesy electro tom-toms) whereas other parts of the album are far more anthemic and less retro.

Track 6, “Telephone” is a throwback in topic more than anything on which Cox sings of “waiting by the telephone” as the rhythm section struts along with a hi-hat dominated beat spiced up by distorted electric guitar wailings.

Lush, dreamy distorted pop is certainly Merchandise’s stock in trade. “Little Killer” (track 7) is the most straightforward radio-ready single in my estimation. Its got a rollicking sheen to it and is concise.

Recommended tracks: 2, 4, 6, 7

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