(Strange Songs) In the Dark

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The debut full-length album from Florida indie outfit Merchandise, 2010's (Strange Songs) In the Dark is a dense, lo-fi, guitar fuzz and feedback-laden production that nonetheless hints at the infectious melodicism of their later work. A duo here, Merchandise feature the talents of singer, guitarist, keyboardist, and drummer Carson Cox and guitarist and keyboardist David Vassalotti. Clearly evincing the influence of such experimental rock pioneers as Sonic Youth, the Jesus and Mary Chain, and My Bloody Valentine, Merchandise make a sludgy, yearning, and brooding style of noise pop. Cuts like "I Locked the Door," "I Get Lost," and "Worthless Apology" are beautifully abrasive earworms that threaten to melt your brain, just as their sweet melodies suck you deeper into their shimmering quicksand of sound.

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