“Now pour your body open,
Tear me apart slowly limb by limb.”
We all have it in our head what makes a band great, what makes a band mean something to us. It can be all down to the singer and the way they are. It can be down the way the drummer makes you wish you could unleash your fury like they do. It can anything, everything- all at once. It hits you like an overnight freight train going a little faster than it normally would. Maybe this band you absolutely adore and idolise bring everything together you love about music and make something of their own. They have parts of bands you love and parts of things you’ve never heard of.
A Corpse Wired For Sound by Merchandise came out today. First listen, it is lust. Not halfway through my second listen, and I would probably marry it if it was a person. Or something similar. It’s easily one of the best records of this year. Hell, it’s one of the best records I’ve heard in a long, long time. When I listen to it, I immediately feel like I am wandering round the streets of Manchester on a rainy and grey day. Utterly bleak- there’s no other place I’d want to be transported to in my mind other than there. Maybe it’s the depths of my conscience telling me it’s time to leave one awfully big city for one my brain can actually handle. I’ve got time, right?
Merchandise take you somewhere really desolate yet sacred with this record. They always do, but there’s something more fragile about this record. As delicate as it is, it’s the kind of records that holds a person together even when the person in question is probably struggling more than they allow their brain to let on. There is so much comfort is the dark and tormenting sound of Merchandise, and A Corpse Wired For Sound is no exception. It’s done differently this time. Every song feels like you need to yell the words out with such urgency. The thing is, when a band means this much to you- you do cling on to every single word.
Nine songs in under 45 minutes. Nine songs to have on a constant loop to help with focusing on whatever you need to do, whatever words you need to get out. They accelerate the motors of your mind with each song, and for me it is Shadow Of The Truth and opener, Flower Of Sex that really do this. I can’t wait for the weather to turn bad so I can wander round listening to this record and truly explore it for what it is. You can only imagine so much within four walls.
For me, I think Shadow Of The Truth is possibly my favourite. Of course I’ll change my mind because I know that this isn’t a record you play a few times and in a few months, you’re done with it. Far from it. Merchandise are not a throwaway band. They’re a band you (collectively) go back to. Each record has something for you to fall back in love with. What you thought was your favourite song slips away, and you fall for another. Maybe it depends on your mood or state of mind but Merchandise, I don’t think, are a background band. They’re not a band you just play and carry on about your business. I’ve had to play A Corpse Wired For Sound a few times before I was ready to concentrate on writing about it. I recommend sitting in the dark and playing Silence a few times. Over and over.
I Will Not Sleep Here is one of the most gorgeous songs I’ve heard in a long time, and only someone like Carson can sing it in this way. It wouldn’t work if someone else did. It really shows his voice in a different way. Again, it’s another highlight and the lyrics are beautiful.
Beginning to end, Merchandise yet again unleash this world upon you that makes you forget how terrible the world can be. The lyrics, the music, everything about this record just sums up everything I love about music and everything I look for in a band. With each record to date, Merchandise have constantly blown my mind and always gone a step further than before.
They’re touring the UK in November. As my birthday is in November, I’ve always claimed it as birthday month and gone to as many gigs as possible. This year is no exception, and I need to block out turning 30 as much as possible even if I still get asked for ID when buying paracetamol.
Play this record as loud as your ears can stand and come out and see them on tour.