Every so often, a band comes along that simply can’t be ignored. Take Tampa, Florida, trio Merchandise. Raised among the city’s punk and DIY scene, they’ve existed below the radar for years. But as a recent reissue of their second output, Children of Desire, implies, it’s Merchandise’s time to shine. Together, bandmates David Vassalotti, Carson Cox, and Patrick Brady make music that falls somewhere between post-punk and shoegaze yet never fits comfortably into either box. As a frontman, Cox’s vocals impart a sense of yearning in both crooner and ballad mode; “Time” finds his words on lost love countered by heart-swelling drum and guitar. Later, the band flexes its noise-rock chops on “Become What You Are,” a chugging affirmation about growing up that stretches more than 10 minutes long. Along the way, Merchandise manages to lifts you up, set you down, and remind you that eventually, it’s all going to be okay. And that’s a feat well worthy of proper congratulations.
Children of Desire