Night-People Records’ Shawn Reed is a busy man. D. Vassalotti (of Merchandise, Cult Ritual) is also a very busy man, so when they work together, it’s in your best interest to pay attention.
Swallow My Pride”, the first song available online from Vassalotti’s 2013 cassette release Live in Infinity, is a heavily altered Ramones cover—six minutes of melancholic bliss, repeating riffs that hang like diaphanous curtains ready to be set ablaze. Perhaps a new vocabulary should be instated for Vassalotti, who’s reverbed, grating pop attempts to inhabit a new intimacy.
Those familiar with his solo work, namely 2011’s haunting Book of Ghosts (out on Vinyl Rites), know his talent for melting textures, giving delicate fabrics the appearance of romantic macabre. “Swallow My Pride” is no exception, existing in a re-imagined world of vulnerability, the soundtrack to moments simultaneously terrifying and beautiful.
Merchandise’s latest, Totale Nite, is out April 2 on the same label, Night People.