The members of the Tampa, Florida band Merchandise started out as products of their city’s estimable DIY punk scene, but their stated goal has always been to move their sound in a “pop” direction, to sound bigger while retaining some certain fundamental darkness. For some of us, their early records were murky muddles with a few good ideas, and it was hard to hear their pop moves as successes. But the band’s new album After The End changes all that. Their first album for 4AD, which they recorded with Depeche Mode producer Gareth Jones, is grand and dark and majestic, and it also has some of the night-time glimmer of prime Echo & The Bunnymen or Bauhaus. All of a sudden, they sound like stars, and the new album is a vast leap beyond anything they’ve ever done. We’ve posted their songs “Little Killer,” “Enemy,” and “Green Lady,” and now you can stream the full LP at NPR.
After The End is out 8/25 via 4AD.