Little Killer

Merchandise Little Killer


An unwritten rule about thriving in the DIY punk and hardcore scene is that once you're in it you can't get out without suffering an involuntary expulsion from your peers if you change too much. Except that the songwriting pursuits of the Tampa, Florida act were skewed in a different direction from the start - sure, their last full-length Children of Desire was cloaked in a blanket of grey-hued reverb, but it was mostly a hindrance to the ringing, layered guitars fizzing in the background reflected with a new romantic sensibility.

In a move that should surprise very few who've followed the gradual evolution of Merchandise from the start, it makes complete sense they've jumped ship to 4AD with their latest offering After The End. And in typical 4AD fashion, the first order of business is to clean up things a bit, give it a bit of a lustrous sheen without sacrificing that dark flamboyance. And "Little Killer" doesn't really surprise in how it emphasizes its swooning guitar lead, or how the Morrissey-esque croon of Carson Cox conveys a seductive elegance, but more so in how they manage to sneak in a power pop hook in a track that is already so unabashedly pop in its constitution. Taking a more accessible approach may prove to be a bit vexing for Merchandise purists, through it's safe that assume there have been twice as many more who have been waiting long and patiently for them to embrace what they've been deliberately hiding for all these years.