Merchandise
Totale Nite


4.5
superb

Review

by Young Abu Dhabi USER (121 Reviews)
April 1st, 2013 | 45 replies


Release Date: 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 (59)
Chart.
3.6
great

Comments:Add a Comment 
ShadowRemains
April 1st 2013


23943 Comments


good review, need to hear this

Cygnatti
April 1st 2013


29807 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

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

EaglesBecomeVultures
April 1st 2013


5436 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

been jamming this



pos'd

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


19113 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

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

WeepingBanana
April 4th 2013


10454 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

fuck this is probably my aoty so far

WeepingBanana
April 4th 2013


10454 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


10454 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


10454 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

hellyeah

EaglesBecomeVultures
April 13th 2013


5436 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

this is one gorgeous fuckin record

Cygnatti
April 13th 2013


29807 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

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

EaglesBecomeVultures
April 14th 2013


5436 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

title track is perfect

WeepingBanana
April 14th 2013


10454 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

anxiety's door and i'll be gone are probably my favorites

iarescientists
May 9th 2013


5865 Comments


Don't know why it took me so long but finally listening to this. Band just keeps getting weirder and spacier.

I like it but I'll never fucking get over how perfect Strange Songs is

Chortles
June 5th 2013


19113 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

band was sooooooo good last night oh boy

WeepingBanana
June 5th 2013


10454 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I might see these guys with milk music on Sunday. Oh boy oh boy



WeepingBanana
June 5th 2013


10454 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Cause it'll be like 2 hrs away



It's those lonely drives w/o u John :'(

Chortles
June 6th 2013


19113 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

i'd say it's worth the drive, one of the best shows i've been to honestly



and yeah the opening acts were great, especially destruction unit omg feedback kings



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