Merchandise – After the End Merchandise – After the End

Merchandise - After the End (2014)

Merchandise – After the End (2014)

Okay. So, you know how on that last Pavement record, they decided to go full bore success effort and ditch the slack wave hiss and distracted power pop melancholia brat crank that made the band’s previous efforts so cryptically delicious and timeless as a Sunday crossword with grandpa’s bathtub whiskey but – in so doing – revealed that they were kinda just The Shitty Beatles which is why Stephen Universe moved to France to play Can records?

Because this new Merchandise jam, After the End is pretty much just that except willful and not shitty so much as totally 4AD. Like TOTALLY 4AD. Like how you imagined the lonesome lethargy of England circa 80s, nestled oddly (albeit ably) asexual into a cloven hoof on hairspray poetry.

It’s beatific in a wan and crystalline sense. All airs are apparent. All longings laid bare and open easy to the big wave of humdrum, half fun with the squalls and the squeals and the jazz fuzz to endless and, often, unjustifiable beds wet with shame forgiven, forgotten and thoroughly overwritten for the strength of the somber strum of acoustic willowing whisps and to be honest there’s a lot of After the End that reminds me of The Smiths phasing Johnny Marr to the crouching shoulders of the back beat so Morrissey could become the ever fuckwittable flower power manchild so many would literally kill to know and love in the present tense.

So, yeah. I’m finding it all a little bit insufferable.

A lot, actually.

And it’s fine that I do because I’ve had my time with the long gone swans and the shiftless implosion of pale suffering but that grace, though well-loved was left safely behind which is why I was surprised when I took a shine to Merchandise in the first place but their development was so caustic and offset and punk RAWK! and weird that it seemed like a wink that absolved all my poems and posy polemics, allowing me to hold true to the goth that will always be sighing somewhere in my heart without reading like an aged fool.

I never liked the fucking Smiths though.

Never will.

But maybe one day I’ll like After the End but by that point Merchandise will likely have become a monolith. A festival act. A force of youth culture, painted gray and paid in full. I mean, they’re already on 4AD so the next stop’s clearly the world and you know what? Good for them. Gloom punks could use a little sparkle now and then.

After the End Tracklist:
1. Corridor
2. Enemy
3. True Monument
4. Green Lady
5. Life Outside The Mirror
6. Telephone
7. Little Killer
8. Looking Glass Waltz
9. After The End
10. Exile And Ego

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