Photo Gallery: Merchandise/B Boys/Mentira at The Bottleneck

Merchandise
Floridian post-punk band Merchandise returned to Lawrence for the first time since a terrifically odd 2015 tour opening for Title Fight with Power Trip. The band played nearly an hour, leading with three tracks off their most recent album, followed by a mix of previous material. The bulkier time slot benefitted the set immensely, allowing for the band to dig into dreamy grooves and near-jams that time constraints would disallow.

Carson Cox's voice soared unfettered in a way only comparable to Morrissey, David Byrne, and other dignitaries of the genre. When he set down his guitar for a short while, his true pop star qualities kicked in as he entered a slow strut across the stage. Guitarist David Vassalotti routinely stumbled and occasionally sat cross-legged as he complemented the echoing sample pad drums with searingly jagged melodies. Many current post-punk bands play to larger audiences than Merchandise, but very few achieve a sound as vast and rich.

The support at Saturday night's show was a bit more conventional than their previous tour that hit Kansas. Brooklyn band and Captured Track signees B Boys whipped up quick, snappy post-punk tunes not unlike fellow New Yorkers Parquet Courts. Kansas City's Mentira was the first to play and quickly won the small crowd's respect with raw hardcore punk tunes that could stop -- and start again -- on a dime. It was also likely the band's first local show outside of a basement or record store.

Full photo gallery here.

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