Monday, April 16, 2012
Merchandise - Angels In The Station
The sound of Merchandise has been shuffled around since their first release a few years ago. I bought this from them on their tour. They played San Francisco last Friday with Neo Cons and Rat Columns. Neo Cons set was shorter than usual and I think it was because Jason was jumping on the crowd like he always does, but when he fell off he did a front flip and landed straight on his back. At least they riled up what was otherwise a pretty docile show. I like a lot of indie bands, but I never know what to do at the shows. You can be a total neanderthal and still know how to slamdance for punk music. At indie shows people mostly just stand around, and I feel like I should be moving but i'm not sure how. Rat Columns was really great though. It's the solo project of David West, the singer of Rank/Xerox. When I bought their 7" we talked about Rank/Xerox and Extortion and other music stuff.
It seems like I'm talking about everything that happened at the show but Merchandise, which is because they took so long to set up and start playing that I only saw them perform one song before I had to go catch the last BART train home. I'm glad I bought this from them though, it's outtakes from the new LP. I often prefer real drums over drum machines, and this is no exception. Perhaps they toured with a drum machine because it was easier, but their last few recordings have featured one as well. Punk is more my area of expertise, so their sound is a little hard to describe. Some of the songs certainly remind me of Joy Division, but I'm sure they're influenced by other, more obscure artists that I've never heard. "What Did I Say Last Night?" is probably my favorite overall. I just wish some of the songs could be heard more clearly. "Become What You Are" is an interesting song whose greatness is muted by excessively loud background noises. All of the songs are pretty long compared to the stuff I usually listen to, and because of that fact Merchandise is a band I'd probably rather listen to at home than go out and see. The soft acoustic sounds of the untitled track is a welcome relief after the harshness of some of their other songs.