Merchandise Horseshoe Tavern, Toronto ON, June 13

Merchandise Horseshoe Tavern, Toronto ON, June 13
Photo: Ian Gormely
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Merchandise frontman Carson Cox was still celebrating his birthday when the band took to the Horseshoe stage, having started the party the night before. Visibly out of it, ("I'm not drunk as bullshit," he'd proclaim near the end of the band's set) Cox nevertheless led the Tampa quartet through a rock solid set. Most crucially, Cox's tendency to imbibe didn't affect his great singing voice, which was wisely put front and centre in the mix. Merchandise get a lot of hardcore and even goth labels in album reviews, but live a more diverse set of influences filter through including soul, acid house and even a touch of Britpop — the noisy jams the bookend their tunes aren't unlike some of Oasis's more spacey moments. The crowd were receptive, though not as rowdy as it seemed Cox would have liked, but it's clear that even an off night for Merchandise is a good one for fans.