TRACKING: Merchandise - "Become What You Are"

SOUNDS LIKE: Jesus & Mary Chain, My Bloody Valentine, Morrissey, lots of things you love about the 1980s
WHY YOU SHOULD CARE: These supposed punks sure do have something romantic about them

Back in April, Tampa's Merchandise released their second LP, Children Of Desire. It's weird to call it an LP, an album, for it's only 6 songs long.  Now usually, that's about the number of songs that make up an EP, but when you are a trio of friends who splintered off from several punk bands to create a group that sounds like anything but punk, you can bend the rules.  Their music encapsulates some of the best moments of the late 1980s. There's that drum machine that is the heartbeat of each song, the noisy shoegazing guitars that aren't far from Kevin Shields territory, and the lived in croon of Carson Cox, doing his best Morrissey impression.

In the middle of Desire lies what will someday be their trademark song when they close out a night in front of the thousands.  "Become What You Are" is about getting to a moment like that, living in your skin as a musician and getting accustomed to having people wanting to hear you.  The first half of the songs fades in and brings to mind an image of the lights coming up in an old clip on 120 Minutes, the band assembled amdist pastel colors.  But halfway through the song, which is roughly the 5-and-a-half minute mark, the songs has a dramatic and unexpected second coming.  Cox continues to croon as the keyboards seem to go on the fritz, and everything seems to be too much at once, which is what happens sometimes when you're in the public eye.  By the time the song ends, it has been 11 minutes of pure euphoria.  They were one of the most talked about bands at CMJ this year, and you can be sure that they'll have even more people talking about them this time next October.

Get lost in "Become What You Are", and if you'd like, their label is giving away Children Of Desire for free over on their website.