Merchandise’s new years resolution, to become a pop band has finally happened, but it’s nowhere near as shocking as everyone thinks. It’s near perfect.
It’s been accounted for across thousands of sites, that Merchandise started as a hardcore band. Then the smooth transition to post-punk-professionals granted the band the worldwide attention of every music magazine imaginable. Now the post-punk era of Children Of Desire and Totale Nite is coming to an end, with the indie pop precision of Figured Out from their record store day joint release, (Milk Music, Destruction Unit) now to Little Killer, the first official track taken from the bands 3rd official LP, After The End.
The title of indie pop feels more like a pejoration of the band’s previous labels. The band’s clear, anti-establishment views seem to have anchored their fans, into believing that, any dabbing into anything other than the underground new-wave influences of Florida’s hardcore punk scene is an act of treason to them. It’s a similar problem that many bands with a cult following have faced. How dare a band change, when their individualism is the very reason that they gained attention originally. This dominant ideology of ‘underground band law’, needs to be halted as to stop the regression of all bands becoming the same.
The ‘brand new’ change from punk to pop is hardly new for the band at all. (Visit the band’s wordpress for all of their earlier releases and you’ll see what I mean). The mentality of Children Of Desire is still present on Little Killer. It’s the change in velocity and pitch which is throwing fans of, when in actual fact, it’s a brighter version of Children Of Desire track, Time (even though the track is about war). The sheer magnetism of the 80’s indie pop scene, clearly runs through the veins of Little Killer. Carson Cox looks just like Rick Astley with slick wayfarers, partnered with the styling of Frankie Goes To Hollywood being almost unavoidable in Little Killer’s steady stream of riffs and nonsensical 80’s style video. They’ve travelled back in time, to when pop music was pop music, and not commercialist blab, creating pristine pop music.
After The End, Merchandise’s 3rd official LP, (and their first with 4ad), is out August 25th and 26th.