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Merchandise is a trio band from Tampa, Florida U.S.A. whose basic members are Carson Cox (Vocals), David Vassalotti (Guitar) and Patrick Braddy (Bass). On 23rd September, they released their sixth album, ‘A Corpse Wired For Sound‘. The band is signed to 4AD since their previous album ‘After The End‘ (2014). The peculiar title of the album is inspired by a science fiction short story by J. G. Ballard.

Merchandise’s music has matured after all those years but they still remain between sounds, genres and styles and that’s why it’s difficult to categorize. However, they consider their music to be ‘somewhere in the grey area of punk, noise and pop music’.

Their new album has much less post-punk features than their previous one. Braddy’s impressive bass lines from their previous recording are significantly reduced in this one. And they have given their place to the evocative sound of electric guitars.  Carson Cox’s vocals, that can be characterized as post punk, are now always in crossover with noise, though not as much as in earlier works like ‘(Strange Songs) In The Dark’ (Katorga works, 2010).  Also, there are many electronic features to enrich the audio result and to strengthen the desired pop side of their sound. However, the whole album is full of their favourite noise. All the above elements are very well blended so as to make a music album popular with a wider audience; a tough goal that they have managed to reach many times in the last few years.

A Corpse Wired For Sound‘ is their first album recorded, at least half of it, in a studio. Up until now, all their albums have been home recordings; for this one the band travelled to Rosa, Italy to receive help from a music producer under the name ICIO. The other half was home-recorded in Tampa.

P.S.: Despite the rich production of the studio album, in their recent participation in a morning television broadcast, they played without any effects a completely different version of ‘Lonesome Sound‘ which we think is as good the studio one.

Elli Mavrou