Live Review: Merchandise @ Metro Gallery, Baltimore, 6/27/14

I am really, really not at all keen on the drive up 95 to Charm City, so when I make the trip, especially on a Friday, it's got to be for something pretty dang special. To see that band of Floridians doing a killer vintage Brit impression, Merchandise, I have to say I'd make that trip any day of the week. And it'd be worth it every time. 

From the start, the band had a very cagey, slinky vibe to them. The sinewy rhythms sounded just a bit primal at times, and I liked it. And anytime there's a guitarist who maniacally cavorts and contorts his way through a set, making me both fear for his safety as well as want to be his new best friend, it's going to be a great set. 

Touring new, soon-to-be-released record After The End, the Tampa five did nothing but impress me all set long. They've got a certain something live, that's for dang sure. Despite moments of seeming a little off their collective rocker, the band's penchant for the offbeat only added to the overall awesomeness of the set. Each song was given quite a warm-blooded, somewhat raw delivery, adding just a touch of rough live appeal to their recorded perfection. There's so much going on in each song, so many layers, and the band made it all seem so very effortless. 

The one thing they might want to work on a shade might be the banter ("my name is Shit Fuck Ass Fuck Shit" being one of the more memorable lines the Metro Gallery crowd was treated to), but that's about the only thing that's not perfect about the band. This is a band that should be huge. They've got stage posturing for days, the swagger of a band who thinks they're it, and, well, they're pretty much it. There was never a dull moment, and the undercurrent of feeling like the show might go off the rails only added to the fun. 

When I left the Metro Gallery, I was even more of a devotee than I was before the show. This band, friends, should be destined for big things indeed. Until the stadiums beckon, get out there and see them whenever and wherever you can. This is a band you'll definitely want to say you saw them when. 

[photo copyright Megan Petty]

[posted 7.7.14]


Popular Posts