Totale Nite is the band Merchandise’s latest 6 song, 33 minute EP. Even though they call themselves a punk band, Merchandise truly belongs in the 80s alongside The Smiths, Joy Division, and all of the other post-punk bands of the time. We have definitely seen a resurgence of this genre of music over the past decade and even though Merchandise closely follows the classic interpretations, they do it with just enough of their own spin so as to not seem too repetitive.
Four of the five songs are 6 minutes plus and echo the band’s love of playing live music. Singer Carson Cox has even been quoted as saying that “recording is cheating no matter what.” The first single from the album titled “Anxiety’s Door” sounds like a lost track from The Smiths and is the most upbeat song on the album. Totale Nite is centered with “I’ll Be Gone” which is the most depressing and lyrically driven song. Cox seems to melodramatically punch out his lyrics a fraction of a second before the melody, giving the instrumentals a feeling of dragging their feet depressingly after the drowning singer. Track 4, the title track, picks up the pace again in a 9 minute saga which unfortunately ends with what sounds like a train running full speed into a mile long marching band blowing their final notes. Although noise rock will always have its time and place, it does not belong here, and yet they go on with more than one track ending with this gratuitous disarray of noise. “Winter’s Dream” winds down the album and slowly plays the band off stage is what is realistically an outro that outlasts its welcome. Overall an enjoyable album from a band that has spent considerable time discovering their niche and now fills it out nicely. Ultimately these songs are meant to be played live and should sound completely different on stage, if you want to put this to the test the band will soon be on a short tour, making a select few stops in Europe before returning to play several shows throughout North America this summer.