5.You Were Right
7.Lies Like These
9.Substitute White Noise
10.Sonora Dance Band
13.Hard To Sleep
Following critical acclaim for their recent single releases, including Radio 1 plays from Huw Stephens and Rory McConnell, Bolton’s MERCHANDISE release an album of finely-crafted lo-fi wonder.
Acoustic/ eclectic in delivery and heavenly in nature, the tracks on FOR THE MASSES bring a skip to the beat and a smile to the face – thirteen not so badly-drawn songs of life and love, though the likes of Prescription and Enemy indicate an occasional darker side.
Whilst the discerning listener might detect strains of Super Furry Animals, The Beta Band and The Go-Betweens between the oh-so-sweet lines, reviewers of the band’s previous album – Lo-Tech Solutions to Hi-Tech Problems - were so determined in their comparisons that the band set up a website highlighting these remarkable apparent similes: take a peek at http://www.merchandisetheband.co.uk/compared-to/ for a stroll down the Quality Street of apparent influences! Not too sure about Shirley Bassey, mind…
The album has been made in a truly lo-fi organic fashion – no computers on here, oh no, but plenty of arcane hardware – and took five years to make: they decided to take their time on this one – the previous albums took four years each to record…
The core of Merchandise’s collective revolves around Brad B. Wood and Conrad Astley, and live shows are performed on acoustic guitar, mandolin, melodica and cajon...though from time to time they will recruit friends and…well, ‘rock out’ a little. In a gentle manner, mind.
So…lie in and chill out to one of the most GORGEOUS albums you’ll hear all year.
And for a taster of Merchandise’s essence, check out the video for soon-to-be-released single, Lies Like These at www.youtube.com/watch?v=JA40pM9Ckcg – made for the cost of half a pizza, it’s already become a cult classic!
Praise for the singles Listen Up! Sometimes and Lies Like These and previous album, Lo Tech Solutions to Hi Tech Problems . . .
This breath of fresh air is the perfect introduction to Merchandise’s uplifting pop sound . . . this radio friendly treat has the potential to put Merchandise on the map. Music Week
This is the kind of accomplished pop we’ve come to expect from Merchandise – Mike Walsh - XFM
Intelligently crafted indie pop, like The Smiths on a much more upbeat tip… Subba Cultcha
It’s truly one of the most addictive singles that have ever graced the hallowed halls of RetroLowFi HQ, and we’re not just saying that because of the delicious looking white vinyl it’s pressed on, either. RetroLowFi
Great vocals, even better harmonies - almost guaranteed to have the listener skipping down a sun kissed Summer avenue. Clash
A summery pop gem, Listen Up! is ‘Girl From Mars’ era Ash but more laidback and subtly sophisticated. Bearded
Great song, very expresive and it is going to be a grower! AJ Kenedy – Isles FM
Blending the summer glazed dimpled effervescence of Dodgy’s holiday time honey ’staying out for the summer’ with the less obvious tangy overtones of a post ’wake up’ Boo Radleys, drizzled with subtle west coast accents and a head turning sucker punching infectiousness ’listen up!’ fizzles with a quietly disturbing lo-fi feel good mellowness and an un-assumed pop prowess that once slyly shimmying past your defences will set up home in your psyche and ping around nonchalantly until summer fades. Losing Today
Its [Listen up] blissed-out rhythms work a slow magic on the listener, and you’ll gradually be won over. . . it’ll lift your spirits and, after all, that’s what pop is all about. Leeds Music Scene.
Within 5 seconds of the jaunty piano intro to this track, you just know that “Sometimes” is going to be one of those feel good songs that you just have to smile at . . . a song that is quite simply cheerful even on a dreary summer evening. This single is pure feel good pop and makes a genuinely good listen. Glasswerk
ACOUSTIC loveliness abounds on Sometimes, the gloriously sunshine filled offering from eclectic collective Merchandise. Dripping in dreamy optimism, the key to this modern love song is its laid-back simplicity. A tune to be savoured when and if the summer sun rears its beaming head. Urban Life