Bands with a single common noun as their name are usually either attempting to remain obscure or have a shit idea of what makes for good marketing. Of course, that’s true only until they hit it big and bury both Merriam-Webster and Oxford in Google search results. British bands have been brilliant at this trick over the years: Blur, Elbow, Foals, etc.
Merchandise, a trio from Tampa employing a decidedly UK sound, is looking to be the next great SEO champion.
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Formed a decade ago, the current lineup includes Carson Cox (vocals and electronics), Dave Vassalotti (guitar and electronics), and Pat Brady (bass). According to an interview the band did with the Guardian a few years ago, Merchandise described its early music as something that "sounded somewhere between Erasure, Suicide, and Otis Redding coming out of a Japanese keyboard.” Influenced by everything from hardcore and punk to Miles Davis and Nina Simone, Merchandise has reinvented itself once again, delving into the brooding, wintry alternative rock of Interpol and Morrissey (Cox’s voice sharing more than a passing resemblance with the latter).
This week, the three-piece will return to South Florida for the first time in about a year and will make six stops, including one at Gramps this Thursday, the night before the band's latest record, A Corpse Wired for Sound, drops on 4AD records.