Merchandise
Totale Nite


4.5
superb

Review

by Mr. Lean Mug USER (112 Reviews)
April 1st, 2013 | 55 replies


Release Date: 04/01/2013 | Tracklist

Review Summary: "With no chains on my heart, it's easy to be free"

It is important for me to impress upon you, dear reader, that Merchandise is a fucking special band. The former trio, now quartet with the addition of drummer Elsner Nino, of Shoxx fame, is the the next great hope for American post-punk (even though it's hard to classify this band with a single genre). This was evidenced by last year's stellar Children Of Desire LP, which saw the band shift it's sound away from the haphazard, oftentimes schizophrenic sonic palette of previous entries in their catalog, to a focused, altogether tauter affair. Vocalist Carson Cox has solidified his place as one of alternative music's most talented frontmen, his vivacious croon half Morrissey drone and half Springsteen bark- but all parts wondrous on the ears- has helped make the band underground pop darlings. And if you've been lucky enough to catch their live show, Cox performs with such organic presence that his voice couldn't fit the music his band is playing any better than it already does. The synergy is remarkable.

On Totale Nite, Merchandise's newest EP, this is no less true. Cox places himself firmly front and center on the record, which serves as the perfect trap to ensnare listeners into the oftentimes complex yet wholly simple musicianship backing him up. However, Cox is not the first thing you'll hear on the album. That honor goes to a wave of distortion-drenched feedback followed swiftly by a harmonica on "Who Are You?" The song sets the visceral tone for the album, and segues perfectly into the lead single, "Anxiety's Door." "Anxiety's Door" examines Cox as he wanders the street of Tampa, Florida, "drinking" the "perfumed air." The song is balanced perfectly around around an earworm, upbeat guitar riff that sounds in stark contrast to the song's relatively gloomy lyrics.

Perhaps no better example of Merchandise's musical prowess is the eponymous title track of the EP. "Totale Nite" brings together everything their is to love about the album and smears it all onto a canvas of sound. There's a guitar riff that doesn't sound quite right, booming digital drum fills (Nino didn't play on this album; the percussion, as with prior Merchandise releases, comes from a drum machine), thunderous bass that lumbers along and rich, shimmering synth lines. "Totale Nite" is everything there is to love about Merchandise in one, 9+ minute package.

Merchandise is the kind of band that eschews a conventional approach to writing music. "Genres are not for us" Cox once stated in a 2011 interview. This is precisely what makes them such an important band in the scope of stagnant alternative music that finds bands adopting flavor-of-the-month styles of songwriting. This is obviously not the way Merchandise does things, which should be blatantly obvious to anyone who has heard more than one of their albums. “I’m gonna plant myself in the sun/Just to be free from all you motherfuckers” Cox laments on "I'll Be Gone." Separation is obviously not the anxiety preached about on "Anxiety's Door," or Totale Nite as a whole. As the band continues to distance itself from the trappings of modern music, it becomes a more and more unique entity. This is something that should be celebrated, and Merchandise's recent success points that the band is headed in the right direction, and will continue to do so without retread.



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user ratings (44)
Chart.
3.7
great

Comments:Add a Comment 
ShadowRemains
April 1st 2013


21031 Comments


good review, need to hear this

Digging: Execration (NOR) - Morbid Dimensions

Iluvatar
Staff Reviewer
April 1st 2013


16089 Comments


been dancing hard to this lately

Hep Kat
April 1st 2013


15351 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

yeh album is totally danceable

Cygnatti
April 1st 2013


21353 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

I love how post punk goes under the 'alt/indie' category instead of the 'punk' one.

Hep Kat
April 1st 2013


15351 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

because it's more of akin to alt rock than punk rock

EaglesBecomeVultures
April 1st 2013


5253 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

been jamming this

pos'd

Digging: Iceage - Plowing Into the Field of Love

Hep Kat
April 1st 2013


15351 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

damb nigga why doesn't this have 500+ votes by now damb

CaptainDooRight
April 1st 2013


29881 Comments


pos 4 hepz

Digging: Impetuous Ritual - Unholy Congregation of Hypocritical Ambivalence

Blackbelt54
April 2nd 2013


4276 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

nice review, need to listen. seeing these guys this summer m/

hey hep hows the new sectarian violence?

Chortles
April 2nd 2013


17994 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

pos'd hard i need to jam this, their other lps rule

Digging: Jacaszek - Treny

WeepingBanana
April 4th 2013


10186 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

fuck this is probably my aoty so far

Iluvatar
Staff Reviewer
April 4th 2013


16089 Comments


3 months into a year aoty is a 4 not a good year for christian

WeepingBanana
April 4th 2013


10186 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

yeah i've only listened to like 10 albums this year that i've liked out like maybe 15 or 20 total

WeepingBanana
April 4th 2013


10186 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

def bordering on a 4.5 though

CaptainTrips
April 11th 2013


2 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

This absolutely blew my mind.

WeepingBanana
April 12th 2013


10186 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

hellyeah

EaglesBecomeVultures
April 13th 2013


5253 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

this is one gorgeous fuckin record

Hep Kat
April 13th 2013


15351 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

yea

Cygnatti
April 13th 2013


21353 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

The spin review for this kinda pisses me off. The guy spends too much time talking about the people in
the band and other irrelevant/background information, namedropping the classic bands is compared too,
and not enough talking about the music themselves.

http://www.spin.com/reviews/merchandise-totale-night-night-people

Blackbelt54
April 14th 2013


4276 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

yeah so this rules



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