This being a print publication, I haven’t got as much room as I’d like
to talk about ‘After the End’,
their denouncing of the Tampa hardcore scene that birthed them or speculate as to what it was about previous mini album ‘Totale Nite’
that captured the imagination of the popular press, I’ll instead jump
straight into an appraisal of the record at hand.
Merchandise are on 4AD now. These are the indie big
leagues, so there’s an expectation that, sonically speaking, they’ll
respond in kind.Merchandise
Sure enough, ‘After the End’ isn’t just considerably crisper than the
releases that have preceded it; it’s a fair bit more urgent, too. Opener
‘Corridor’, admittedly, Merchandise
represents a gentle introduction – an acoustic guitar-driven instrumental that shimmers away, with only the odd burst of ominous percussion to puncture the haze – but thereafter,
there’s a palpable sense of boldness in terms of the record’s progression
from the mope rock that’s gone before.
Suddenly, we’re firmly into retro pop territory. ‘Enemy’ is a case
in point – Carson Cox’s lackadaisical vocal floats over decidedly nineties,
La’s-esque acoustic guitars, rather than early Morrissey electrical
It’s a recurring change for the Merchandise After The End
4AD By Joe Goggins.
In stores August 25 Floridian group, and irrespective of
how the band preceded ‘After The End’, there’s no denying that it has a
very clear sonic identity of its own amongst the burgeoning
‘Little Killer’ is one of a few tracks that’s driven primarily by very eighties guitar tones.
You can clearly hear The Cure and The Smiths in them (‘Green
Lady’ and ‘True Monument’, too), and neat, understated vocal turns on
Cox’s part. Elsewhere, there’s experimentation.
‘Life Outside the Mirror’ goes without percussion, instead backed by a subtle synth line and washed-out acoustic guitar,
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