Introducing: Merchandise

Finding solid information on Florida based Merchandise may prove to be a task of difficulty. Their second proper LP to date “Children of Desire” may have been released in July 2012, but it is only recently I have made the discovery of them, and what a discovery it was. As part of the Florida punk scene, Merchandise are used to keeping a somewhat low indie profile but with the release of this record, lying low no longer seems feasible. The band is considered to be at the forefront of Florida’s rising punk and hardcore scene but this album is certainly not a straight up punk record. It is a very difficult record to categorize in terms of genre though one can clearly recognise post-punk and shoegaze influences throughout.

Pushing the 10 minute point is the album’s personal highlight for me “Become What You Are” which boasts an urgent and ambitious sound and is instantly memorable. The track sounds like an indie classic of sort which would be appropriate for both an underground gig and an arena show. “Children of Desire” is no doubt an ambitious and elaborate effort as Merchandise have proved they have the ability to innovate and channel various influences without reiterating them which many bands are guilty of today.

Listen to “Become What You Are” below.

Cactus&Cardigan // Band Of The Week // 07.01.13

Just as Cradle Of Filth effectively describes an English 6-Piece Extreme Metal band, Cactus&Cardigan employs the same effect for their brash, off the wall take on ‘Noise Rock’. What some may view as a random misnomer due to the band being made up of neither cacti nor frequently employing the use of cardigans as an unlikely dress code to their fun live shows; I view as a perfectly fitting title to their songs which tell stories sweeping from the Adult Entertainment Industry in ‘The Money Shot’ to informative methods of effective masturbation when your wife is out of town in their local hit ‘Wank Sock’.

It’s hard to lend justice to the clever song-writing in a short article, when really it must be heard first hand in an intimate setting from a stage or in their own home demos where they utilize a do-it-yourself mentality that, if you will, pluck all the right strings for a band such as this. Perhaps you would be forgiven for thinking there is an immaturity when browsing through a track listing of ‘Reggie Yates Is The Messiah’, ‘George Michael Cums Cobwebs’ or ‘Crab Sea Nesquik’, but a quick listen to either and all of the above in short, take you on a colourful journey which simultaneously makes you want to nod your head, punch your friend, snigger quietly, laugh loudly and then sometimes cry squeamishly. The important factor would be that you don’t disregard that although they are writing music about some unusual topics, the musicianship behind them really is fantastic and deserves to be taken seriously.

So a little bit more about the band? Well here are a few facts..

• There are three of them.
• They used to wear masks under the guise’s ‘Groin’, ‘Mouth’ & ‘Bubble’.
• They now answer to ‘Peter’, ‘Marc’ & ‘Jack’.
• They are based in Thurso, Highlands.
• They have self released a single; ‘Crab Sea Nesquik’ and have a flutter of other ideas on their Facebook which are set to become something more substantial this year.
• You should buy the above when it becomes available.

So there you have it my band of the week and hopefully yours. They are all things intense, fun, serious when they need to be and bursting at the seams with riffs. I revert to their own imagery to conclude…

Imagine a cold glass of ‘Crab Sea Nesquik’. Sure it sounds pretty disgusting and let’s be honest, it’s going to taste pretty bad; however it’s made of some smashing components (Crab and Nesquik, hello?!) and is intriguing enough for me to give it a try. Who knows, maybe, in fact, it could be the best thing you’ve ever had!

“5 Crab Sea Nesquiks please squire..”

Check them out now!! –

Albums of 2012 – ‘Cokefloat’ by PAWS

‘Trust your first instincts’ they say, however when trying to think of my favourite album of the year, that is fast closing in on us, I really did struggle to think of any at all to pick.

I suppose part of the reason could be pinned on the disposable nature of buying music in the digital stratosphere we find ourselves currently in, coupled with my current income which after paying rent and bills I would rather fritter on a crate of beer than a collection of songs (I know, a shocking admittal from an amateur music writer.). At least you know what you are getting with the previous.

The important aspect of my current purchasing clime is that I find myself to be rather picky due simply to the fact that as a music lover living in the 21st century we can take and choose from albums from many bands in the mesh networks vast CD rack. One such band that led me on a journey from two tracks, to three, then four, and finally giving up to consume the entire piece of work, was Cokefloat by Paws.

Paws are a three piece from a plethora of Scottish towns including the ever popular Glasgow and less so Tain. It was here that they first jammed out a bunch of notes before being let down by a generator powering the hard working backdrop for their guitars. Luckily they didn’t give up, and their debut full legnth offering, in my opinion, is a triumph of lyrical and melodic content.

It isn’t by any means ironed out and rightly so. These stories led by singer and guitarist, Philip, deserve to be belted out with such audacious passion. Notable songs such as ‘Homecoming’, a stern note to a former youthful friend with the headline that he deserved the pipe to the face he took, or ‘Bloodline’ paying acknowledgement to unfortunate illnesses amongst loved ones, really paint wonderful pictures that display a blissful contrast to their lo-fi musical simplicity.

It may help that I have been lucky enough to see these fine chaps live and can feel the upbeat of every note thanks to the memory of an engaging and energetic thirty minutes; however every track really resonates with me and it sits happily everywhere from being stuck on an iPod dock at a house party to being played in my parents car.

If you, like me, struggle occasionally to buy a full LP for whichever reason that may be, then do yourself a favour and click on to the world wide web and find yourself a 79p rendition of ‘Jellyfish’ by the band (That’s even cheaper than most places you’ll grab a vodka coke!). Simple chords, simple story (from what I can gather) and a simple melody but cranked up to the 6th gear with an endearing urgency and distorted vocal that really makes Paws, Paws.

Live Review: Fidlar @ The Cathouse, Glasgow

Whilst many hold the opinion that punk is politically motivated, the musical catalogue of punk band Fidlar shows they do not follow this philosophy as their songs are primarily about partying and drugs. This was something the front man made clear throughout the entire set introducing every song with a reference to a different substance which became quite monotonous very quickly. On a positive note, the band when playing delivered a high level of energy and a good vibe which did please a somewhat half empty venue where many a beer was spilled and some moshing occurred. Furthermore, they did play well musically together.

However, I raise the question… Is good punk rock inspired only by politics? By breaking social barriers? Causing anarchy? Can it be simply about getting fucked up on “cocaine, acid, weed, heroin…” and partying until the wee hours? It probably could but the continuous drug references and frat boy banter with the crowd was tedious and it let down what could’ve been an excellent punk rock show as their energy level and spirit was impressive and considerably rare to find nowadays with modern music.

Personally, highlight of the night for me came from the supporting act Secret Motorbikes who, despite sound problems and a small turnout, delivered a good vibe and displayed excellent musicianship. A Glasgow based band whom are well worth checking out to say the least.

Cleavers // Band Of The Week // 09.12.12

According to better men than I, life is a season of good tidings, harmony for all and, on Christmas Day, hunners of Terry’s chocolate orange. According to Cleavers’ new winter 6-track album, life is shit.

Hailing from the town of Elgin, (home to 25,678 citizens, Elgin Cathedral and a surprisingly extensive Wikipedia page), Cleavers have came to be one of Scotland’s most exciting bands in little over a year since their first live show. With comparisons to gone-before-their-time Fight Poppers Dananananayroyd coming out the wazoo it’d be a crime for Cleavers to pass your (as yet) undamaged eyes and ears unnoticed. High praise from the likes of Ally McRae, Detour and Vic Galloway doesn’t come for nothing and their new EP ‘Life Is Shit’ appears to be a definite bridge to even further acclaim. Released on a limited run of 250 7”s for £4 a pop (and, obviously, an unlimited supply of those “digital downloudz” that you get nowadays for £2) you would be an absolute willy to not go and spend a small portion of your cash on one. Or, as it’s Christmas, buy all of your friends a copy! Let’s be honest, they’d prefer it to that 3-for-2 Lynx Africa set from Boots that you’re planning to give them.

You can catch Cleavers supporting Shields Up! on their farewell tour this Friday (Glasgow, The 13th Note) + Saturday (Edinburgh, Henry’s Cellar Bar) and the band are currently organising more dates for early 2013.

Naomi Punk – Why Not Listen? Free Download

This tracks a real hitter. Just imagine crowds of people simultaneously head banging. This is the kind of stuff that sends crowds into a frenzy. With the lethargic nose drawn and repetitive vocals thrown in. This band live would for sure would shut a venue or ask everyone to sit down.

Recently singing to Captured Tracks
Quoted from the link above. “Promptly after seeing their scorching live set, Captured Tracks signed the young trio and set plans to give the debut LP a wider release. The band’s straightforward and powerful-yet-melodic material and their off-radar “primitive internet” stark visuals made them a no brainer to going the ranks of CT’s roster.”

Some releases//
/ On October 16th, “The Feeling” will see it’s first release on iTunes.
/ On November 20th, “The Feeling” is officially released on CD and Vinyl.