Merchandise are not exactly a new band, but they’re still a new band in all the exciting ways. In the fall, they rode one of those ridiculous internet buzz waves that basically amounts to everyone in a couple sub-sections of the internet all talking about them at once. They played some shows, put out an EP. Their songs were good—but like always, the hype soon outstripped the actual quality of the music. The band specializes in dark and brooding sprawl, stretching out drum machines and vaguely Joy Division-esque gothic moments into 11-minute epics and briefer moments of wind-whipped fury. But it’s not an adolescent angst—it feels heavier, inescapable, somehow more adult. “Anxiety’s Door” is nearly seven minutes, resting somewhere between that unedited stretchiness and a tighter, poppy sound. This kind of seriousness goes a long way in explaining the seemingly instant fascination with this band. The rest can be explained by the fact that they sound like they’re taming guitar squall and harsh noise into something palatable, and that’s pretty hard to do. Merchandise’s new EP Totale Nite will be out this Spring on Night People.
Stream: Merchandise, “Anxiety’s Door”