Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Release of the Day: Merchandise - After the End

The sound of this record is almost pristine - so much so that I find it hard to imagine that the album was recorded in basically a closet in the band's house in Tampa. There's a great in-depth look into the band on Stereogum, which is the first good thing I've read from the otherwise lackluster music blog. To make a long story short, the guys in the band are dudes - they're the friends you already have that watch youtube videos, smoke weed, and dig on Elvis Presley. But they're also refined tastemakers with an ear for groove-giggling-pop.

After the End has less electronica influence than Totale Nite, though it mirrors the previous album in a penchant for mood. Most of the mood itself comes from Carson Cox's restless, yearning vocals. But David Vassalotti's guitar playing is another key ingredient. I'm trying to imagine "Enemy" without Vassalotti's picked guitar lead and the song kind of implodes on itself. It's a pop album, but it's really good pop like a down-on-her-luck Blondie or Morrissey, if he wasn't a total dick. The band seems to play Chicago once or twice a year too, which is great, and they will be playing the Empty Bottle with Lower and Final Grin in October.

Check out the lead single in the video below!

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