Merch Table Delight – Back to Lo-Fi (2007-2012)

Remember the times when you’d hang out in your friend’s basement for hours fiddling around with guitars and recording your ideas on a cheap computer mic – then add sound bites from your favorite movies or tv shows and share it with your friends? No? Then Back to Lo-Fi (2007-2012) isn’t going to give you the nostalgic experience it gave me. What it does deliver is the lo-fi basement sound that you really have to be a part of to appreciate. Comprised of eighteen tracks and most clocking in at less than three minutes, you would expect something more energetic from Back to Lo-Fi, but only a couple of tracks really stand out. Merch Table offers some Courtney Taylor-Taylor style vocals on tracks like “Do It For The Money,” giving it a Dandy Warhols feel – or maybe a Brian Jonestown Massacre mockery of Dandy Warhols. The way the vocal hovers over the music brings Thurston Moore to mind, while “Kate Winslet and the American Accent” is a pretty good noise track that could pass for old Sonic Youth.
But wait! Things get more interesting over the course of five hidden tracks. One of them is a recording of someone, whom I imagine is the singer, crashing the MuchMusic VJ search. The last and best track is a much better recording of a previous song called “All the Way With Stephanie Kaye” (a must listen for all of you Degrassi Junior High fans). If you like lo-fi tracks then I would sooner recommend Merch Table Delite’s UMFM Sessions EP.  It has the energy of a full band that this disc is lacking.  When it comes to a project like this one, a rough sound is what you aim for, a basement is your studio, and your fans are your friends. That’s worth bringing back. (No Label, Matthew Dyck

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