March 7, 2013

Hear New Sound: Merchandise's "Who Are You?"

Putting my ear to the newest releases by the Men and Iceage, the most punk thing to do in 2013 seems to be proudly waving your past cred in the basement show scene without really sounding much like a band who would have won over many fans in attendance at them to begin with. Reformed hardcore Floridians (and 2012's Best New Artist honorees here on AS) Merchandise already made it known they had shed their ties with studded belts and band patches sewn onto torn denim vests last year on their breakthrough effort Children of Desire, and with their new EP Total Nite set to arrive on April 2nd via Night People, the latest previews showcase an intentional ambition to push the "post-punk" label (I know, who needs those...) further into ambiguity than scribes like AS might be hard to describe. Its first listen "Anxiety's Door" swelled stereos with 7 minutes of gauzy ebbs and burning static, but now the much shorter track "Who Are You?" slowly steamrolls and rides a psychedelic wave of reverb while wielding an old timey harmonica like its as badass as an electric six-string, giving it a gritty quality that might have you thinking this is Merchandise's answer song to "How Soon Is Now?" Their excellent new identity crisis below...

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