MERCHANDISE: A Corpse Wired For Sound.

23 09 2016

merchandise_flowerofsex_video_and_lyrics-830x400

“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.





DEATH INDEX.

24 02 2016

 

Today I was treated to a wonderful MRI scan on my spine/back. Like the letter stated, I took a CD with me to listen to, when I got there I was told due to the kind of scan I was having I wouldn’t be able to use the headphones. I thought, “Okay I’ll just take a nap.” That happened briefly. Of course leading up to today I was panicking internally-turns out it wasn’t that bad but I am rubbish with keeping still. As I lay there, all I could think was how much the scan sounded like a My Bloody Valentine/The Jesus And Mary Chain record. It was noisy and it sounded like someone letting loose with a load of reverb. I think I managed to drown it out and pretend it was a song. I don’t know. Whatever gets you through, right? Maybe Kevin Shields also went for a MRI scan and thought “This could work on a record.” I’m going with that. Anyway, from one noise to another-Death Index.

Created in the belly of Berlin via bands members from Italy (ciao bella!) and America, the Death Index record is brutal. It’s uncomfortable, it’s noisy and it is dark. Put it down as one of the loudest records of the year. Some regard the likes of Sinatra as easy listening. Bands like Death Index are my kind of easy listening. Or maybe, uneasy listening. I don’t want music to make me feel comfortable. As someone who never has, and will never settle, Death Index are the perfect band for me. Again, like most bands I go on about they are one to really invest in seeing live. I’m pretty sure you’d leave with some kind of injury. Anything less than a bloody nose is poor.

Not many people know this but Italy does have an incredible music scene. I used to think it was just Litfiba but it really goes beyond that. A lot of Garage Rock bands have come from the most beautiful country in the world (yes I’m being biased but it’s still true) and there’s some excellent Punk bands from there also. Marco’s old band La Piovra were one of Italy’s finest, and it’s pretty obvious that Death Index are going to be equally as great, right? Of course, especially when it also involves the frontman of the brilliant Merchandise; Carson Cox.

Please don’t assume that this a straight-up Punk record. It really isn’t. It oozes destruction and it confronts the end of time/the ruin of human beings in such an unconventional manner that you cannot help but want to stick two fingers up to the world. By world, I probably mean Government because they’re the problem and they can’t find a solution. Their debut record holds a wealth of angst. When you mention angst to most they immediately think stroppy 13 year olds. Not with this record. This is for adults who have had enough and can see through all the corruption and bullshit in the world.

There are brilliant moments on the record where you feel like you’re watching a Thriller, and you imagine someone lurking in a dingy alleyway in Berlin on a damp and cold night, tossing their cigarette end onto the ground as they head into the night finding someone or something to hunt down. Maybe I’ve got it wrong or maybe my mind has ran off with the music again. All I know is that the lyrics, the music and the general atmosphere on this record is nothing short of perfect. I have no idea what anyone else thinks, but I know for me that this record has everything I want from music. It has lyrics that make you think, the music makes you want to throw your body into walls and flail limbs about beating off the sweat of others and it’s a moody record.

There are many things that make me proud to be Italian, and musicians like Marco fully justify it. Carson’s’ vocals have this soothing but real brutal tone to it. You get the urgency of the words straight away and you aren’t floating off to the beach in your mind. Far from it. You see the world in all its darkness, you see through people but you get on. If you fixate on the things that fuck you up and piss you off, you’ll never get out of your mind. Music frees you. Music like Death Index frees you.

I’ve been listening to the record a few times this evening, and I wish I could give you my favourite track but that’s impossible. Each song is a body of something truly marvellous, and I’m really excited to go see these guys in May here in London. As an extra special treat for us, King of the Guitar- Charlie from Crocodiles is joining them. It’s definitely going to be worth travelling south of the river for. I’m really into Patto Con Dio, and I think it’s because it’s just over 7 minutes and I’m a sucker for long songs especially when they’re as important as this one.

Some could regard this as downer of a record because of the topics it touches on but I don’t always want something that makes me feel like I’m escaping the world. This is a record to face the world and to face daily life. It’s a brutally honest record, and you can tell it comes from a place that most want to shy away from. Many have possibly tried to make something as honest and as raw as this, but the way in which Carson and Marco have done it makes you disregard previous efforts. Death Index is where it is at. For me I don’t see this regard as a downer at all. I want music that sparks something in my brain. I want to see different sides and I want to see how others view the world. I adore the frustration and urgency in this record. It has that raw sentiment to it that captures the essence of Punk. Punk means different things to different people, and Death Index expose it all in a way that cannot be shunned.

Play this loud. Deafen yourself. Take note of the lyrics and go to one of their shows.

Their self-titled debut is out this Friday via Deathwish.