DIY punk bands from around the country are getting a bit more attention these days, largely due to Twitter and Bandcamp, and one of the turning points was Merchandise's 2012 album, Children of Desire. The Tampa-based band was a revelation to a lot of different music lovers; instead of the DIY garage-band stereotype, Children of Desire sounded like The Smiths. (Granted, a rough-hewn version without Morrissey's way with words, but The Smiths nonetheless). It was a reminder that "punk" is more of an attitude than a sound, and that a network of really talented musicians existed below the strata of indie labels.
Today, Merchandise release a new song, "Figured Out," which will appear on a special Record Story Day compilation on 540 Records, the imprint of Texas punk festival Chaos in Tejas. Crystalline and crunchy guitars fill the sonic spectrum, especially during the song's second half, which feels like a melancholic blend of The Who and Dinosaur Jr. Vocalist Carson Cox knows his place in this mix, sacrificing coherency for the purpose of mood, and new drummer Elsner Nino lends a certain heft that was missing from Children of Desire. Like the underground scene from which it came, "Figured Out" shimmers despite shadows, and bodes well for Merchandise's full-length album due out on 4AD later this year.