When: Thu., Jan. 17, 9 p.m. 2013
Go to a DIY show and you won’t typically see slick-crooning Smiths devotees with morose swaggers and lovelorn lyrics—that kind of venue is more reliably populated by punks and hardcore kids bashing mikes into shit and hanging from heating ducts. But even though Tampa’s Merchandise, born from hardcore-punk bands such as Neon Blud and Cult Ritual, have till now relied mostly on the support of unlicensed show spaces and their loyal patrons, their sound marks them out as goths at heart—and a very popular sound it is. The success of last year’s Children of Desire (Katorga Works), which is already on its second pressing, has made Merchandise a bit too big for their DIY britches. An ebbing-and-flowing collection of dark, electro-tinged indie rock, it’s held together by the sultry baritone of vocalist Carson Cox and steeped in the late-80s milieu of black eyeliner and dissonant, jangly guitar. Some songs get straight to the point, with hooks built from layered swaths of electronics (“Time”), while others are introspective dirges (“Become What You Are”) that cast their spell for more than ten minutes. And they’re all such danceable hype magnets that Merchandise was never going to to stay tucked away in basements forever—I expect the 12-inch EP they’re releasing in March on Night-People to ratchet up the chatter another couple notches. —Kevin Warwick This show is part of the Tomorrow Never Knows festival. Dusted, Sundress, and Sybris open.