Merch Stains: Merry Merchmas


Be happy that you didn’t get any of these for the holidays.

The wrapping paper has been thrown away and the passive-aggressive comments from your family has faded. Another holiday season has passed and you managed to survive relatively unscathed. Hopefully people enjoyed your gifts and you received some things you like. My significant other bought me tickets to see Amorphis and Swallow the Sun, so I’m pretty happy. I mean I’ll be all sad and bummed out while watching the bands, but that’s not only expected, but encouraged.

While the holidays are for spending time with loved ones and giving them gifts, there does come a time when you have to give a gift to someone you don’t actually like. That usually results in a trip to the pharmacy for a $10 gift card to Amazon or Starbucks. Nothing says “I know nothing about you and I don’t want to know” more than a cheap gift card. Save yourself the trouble of running to CVS or Rite Aid and fighting with the dregs of society that congregate at the pharmacy in the middle of the day and pick up some of these cringe-tastic pieces of heavy metal merchandise. That’ll show the guy from accounting that keeps microwaving fish for lunch in the office kitchen.

Arch Enemy – Pure F***ing Embarassment


Did someone you strongly dislike somehow manage to make smaller version of themselves this year? What better way to say “Jesus, you actually found another human being that would actually let your genitals touch them?” than with this incredibly stupid baby onesie from Arch Enemy. We know it’s from Arch Enemy, not because their name is on it, but because their logo is neatly tucked away on the arm. It’s as if they’re ashamed that this thing exists.

Oddly enough, this falls into a weird grey area between being an in-your-face-try-hard and being aware in the sensitivities in others. This baby is all up in your face grandma, but don’t worry because it’s censored. There’s no actual bad words on it, just a long, painful series of bad decisions that led up to it. If someone reads this too fast, they will be very confused and you will have a lot of explaining to do to the police, the courts, and child protection agencies. That doesn’t matter though, because the world knows you have a cool music collection.

This onesie is strictly for the parent(s) to say “Hey! Hey you! Look at this kid! It’s mine! I listen to metal! Do you listen to metal? Cool! Me too! Let’s be friends! Have you ever heard of this band called Pantera? They’re pretty good!” Band onesies are bad and metal band onesies are worse. Way to traumatize your child without ever saying a word.


Butcher Babies – Meat Butt


“Butcher Booty.” Say it out loud. Let the words drip with a combination of bewilderment and venom. Much like the Arch Enemy onesie, this merchandise does not actually say the band’s name (Butcher Babies). I suppose once you see these on someone, you’re not really thinking about what band it is or about music in general. Of course, you may fear for the health and well-being of your wee-wee as something with knives on it is hurtling towards your nether-region. Unless you’re planning to mash your butts together or something. Whatever, no judgment here. Just look past the implication of the booty shorts that the wearer’s tushy may in fact chop you up, stick you in cellophane, and sell you at a reasonable price.

We know who these are geared towards, but I hope the fattest, hairiest, smelliest man in the world wears these shorts. I want his jiggly thigh meat spilling out of leg holes. His cottage cheese ass should fall out of the back like a Hefty bag filled with too many spoiled fish heads. His gut needs to cover “Butcher Booty” so that only the little points of the knives can be seen. Maybe a ball should fall out of the side. Maybe both. Again, no judgment.


Cannibal Corpse – Cooking With A Knife



Some people will definitely love this and I can understand why. This Cannibal Corpse apron fits perfectly with the band’s warped sense of humor. Cannibal, cooking, you get it. It’s the thinking-metalhead’s piece of merchandise. Like a brown paper bag with two eye holes and “Kid Rock fan” written on it. Does this really belong in Shirt Stains? Maybe, maybe not, but where else can I show people this Cannibal Corpse apron? Also, the thought of Corpsegrinder wearing this while cooking up a bunch of burgers and hot dogs is just too much fun. I’m actually shocked it doesn’t have a Cannibal Corpse version of “Kiss The Cook” like “Fuck The Cook With A Knife” or something equally stupid.

This apron falls into the “it’s so great it’s stupid/it’s so stupid it’s great” category. It is for a very specific fan, kind of like the Slayer bicycle, but far less expensive. It’s the B-Sharps of merch. It’s funny the first time and less funny each successive time you see it. It’s the perfect gift for someone you don’t like. It will confuse them and scare them. They’ll think it’s some sort of threat and they will never, ever steal your lunch from the communal refrigerator ever again.


Five Finger Death Punch – The Pillowhead


Oh, good. Now I have something to scream in to whenever I see Five Finger Death Punch is in the news. If you go on a blind date and head back to your date’s place and see this pillow on the couch or bed, run. Go to a well-lit safe space with lots of people around and call your emergency contact to have them pick you up. The pillow is a helpful shade of blood red so you know to use it to water the Tree of Liberty or whatever the fuck. Needs more CONSTITUTION, GOLD, and STATE’S RIGHTS to really get the point across. If you look closely, the skull is really the ghost face of Ron Paul. Yes, I know he’s not dead, but it’s still his ghost face.

I hope that instead of paying him for filling in for Ivan Moody, the members of FFDP gave this to Phil Labonte as a form of payment. “Hey, Phil. Thanks for really helping us out in a bind. Since you only played a couple of shows, we felt it wasn’t right to pay your. The invisible hand of the free market determined that your hard work was good enough to receive this pillow. If you help us out next time, we’ll throw in a blanket or something. See you at the firing range on Tuesday.”


The Sword – Age Of Sunglasses


Hey, cool dude! Grab your board, hop into your Jeep and let’s getting ready to hit some waves. Don’t forget your tubular The Sword sunglasses. Don’t want to get too much sun in your bloodshot eyes. Or maybe you want to hide your identity from the public’s gaze. Either one works. Slide the glasses down your nose a little and you’ll look like a movie poster from the 80’s and 90’s.

These sunglasses may in fact be leftovers from a recently closed kid’s birthday party store. They look incredibly cheap. I wouldn’t be surprised if the orange would melt off and run down the side of your face on an extremely hot day. What a shame it would be for the tiny printed THE SWORD and HIGH COUNTRY to be covered up with such an expected tragedy. No one would know that you still like the band after Age of Winters or Warp Riders. Give a pair to your boss and sneak out early while they’re wearing it.

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