The Wind-Up Merchants
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The Wind-Up Merchants

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This band has not uploaded any videos
This band has not uploaded any videos


The best kept secret in music


"Not Lame Records"

“A beguiling mix of engaging sounds, TWUM blend a buzzy, chord chopping guitar assault (but most politely) with a gentle acoustic-driven base that is hard to pin down. This is such a mix of cool styles that it sounds like a bill that features early Sugar playing with Hootie and the Blowfish (dump the singer, come on, they were tolerable, admit it) and Shoes/Spinning Jennies. … the Spinning Jennies…share the driving, concise song structures and sweetly aggressive guitar sounds and busy rhythm sections. It’s a smorgasbord of pretty and unusual chords and harmonies that (are) grounded in an awareness of never playing it safe. It’s a band finding its own sound and the sound on this debut is one that crops the ears up for closer listens. Recommended!” - Not Lame Records

"Amplifier Magazine"

“Subtlety is the quality that escapes a lot of post-punk bands. They bury sincere emotions and legitimate observations under suffocation layers of noise. Fortunately, Denver’s Wind-Up Merchants has little interest in following the typical emo path, preferring to incorporate melody in its sonic pursuits. To that end, the Merchants can comfortably inhabit crunchers like “Rick James” and “Prone,” and then back off the volume and urn up the pop intensity on “Better Fuel,” the acoustic rumination of “To: Ben” and the banjo-tinged “Unfulfilled”. The Wind-Up Merchants greatest strength is in understanding the power of its varied elements and knowing how to arrange them to the best effect.”
- Amplifier Magazine


“The Wind-Up Merchants peddle an eclectic bill of goods on Sprain Pkwy, their debut full-length. The trio moves from bombastic, ‘60’s era blasts (“I Won’t Go”) to jazzy ballads (“Better Fuel”) and plain old oddities: The opening song is a quizzical tribute to Rick James (“Every day I fight demon stuff/Gotta keep my hands un(hand)cuffed”) Wind-Up Merchants are at their most intriguing when they chuck a lot of things into the fire – trumpets, violins - and fuse elements that don’t normally wind up together. “Unfulfilled,” for example, features a psychedelic guitar alongside a bubbly banjo and a from-the-other-room-sounding piano noise. Elsewhere, simplicity suits the band just fine: “Let It Fall” is a pretty straightforward, strummy number that most recalls guitarist/vocalist Josh Schachterle’s semi-acoustic solo side project. This ambitious and creative attempt often hits its mark.”
- Laura Bond

"Go-Go Magazine"

“This CD may surprise you. The Wind-Up Merchants are a trio, with the standard line-up of bass/drums/guitar, but the sound is bigger than you’d think. This new release, Sprain Pkwy, has unexpected depth and variety within its emo rock walls. Fans of Kansas City’s Shiner and Season to Risk will be glad to have a Denver connection.
The first three songs rely on heavy rhythm guitar to push a steady indie-rock flavor. “I Won’ Go” in particular sounds like a great old B-side from some Brit-rock influenced metal long-hair form the 1970’s. The effects are few, the guitar is loud, and John Peterson drives the band ferociously on the drums. Then, all of sudden, “Let It Fall” begins with an acoustic guitar and before you can say, “Goo Goo Dolls????” lead singer Josh Schachterle’s pained and dryly dramatic voice asks the familiar question, “Who’s the fuck-up/You or she?” Great tune.
Schachterle mixes it up again for “Better Fuel”, by getting soft on us, adding piano, vibes, and a swing, yes a swing rhythm replete with ride cymbal shuffle and a trumpet. Who knew? “Your Drug” rocks again, tight and dark. “To: Ben” is a mellow and moody ode to an unborn child which starts, “Note to my unborn child/Don’t see yourself in me.” Ouch. “thinker” could be the strongest on the record overall as it closes out the CD.
Normally, this type of all-over-the-place mix of styles and song arrangements lead critics to cringe and wait for the next, more “mature” record. But as it was stated earlier: this record might surprise you.” - Judy B.


“Caught somewhere between Jason Falkner and … King’s X, Denver’s own the Wind-Up Merchants can and should be every bit as successful and influential as local-scene graduates Apples in Stereo. The trio’s debut album “Sprain Pkwy” is a broad and bold sampling of tunes…
Tracks like “Rick James,” “Thinker” and “Better Fuel” validate the Wind-Up Merchants’ songwriting skills and prove the group can deliver inspiring instrumentation and catchy chords progressions.”


"The Wind-Up Merchants" (demo) - 2001
"Sprain Pkwy" - 2002
"Everything is the Hardest Thing to Hear" - Scheduled for early 2004 release

streaming tracks can be heard at and

radio airplay on University of Colorado's Radio1190AM

Other works by Josh Schachterle, WUM's main brain:

Josh Schachterle "Nervation" (solo album) - 2001
eleven2go "morning gut tree" - 2000
eleven2go "eleven2go" (demo) - 1999


Feeling a bit camera shy


This is the band you’ve been waiting for, kids. The band that knocks you down with their live intensity at every show. The band who gets up and plays their hearts and guts out every time. The band whose meticulous songcraft gives way in a live setting to burning fury and ecstasy. This is the Wind-Up Merchants!

WUM's music evolves from the influences of indie music, past and present; a bit of indie-rock, some pop-punk and power-pop, and a little emo. Fans of Hûsker DÛ and Jawbox wouldn’t clear the dance floor when we played. That's rock n' roll folks!

Guitarist Josh Schachterle, drummer John Peterson, and bassist Danny Huber first gathered their collective energy as the Wind-Up Merchants in 2000, when Peterson and Schachterle were shopping a demo around to clubs and prospective bass players in Denver. Peterson and Schachterle had played together in the ill-fated band eleven2go and had decided to soldier on “for the kids” after that band’s dissolution.

After lucking into a fabulous bass player in Huber, the trio set about making their debut long player Sprain PKWY. The album, filled with punk rock intensity and skilled songwriting, received good reviews from local and national media. Fans of WUM reciprocate the critic's recognition of the band's hard work by requested favorites such as Thinker, Rick James, and Unfulfilled during live performances.

With Sprain PKWY in tow, the trio was subsequently invited to play the MidPoint Music Festival in Cincinnati, OH (they were invited the following year, as well). They played steadily around Denver, opening for such indie luminaries as Spoon, Juno, Season to Risk, John Vanderslice, Ken Stringfellow (Posies) and Evan Dando (Lemonheads).

In 2003, The Wind-up Merchants were invited to play the International Pop Overthrow in Los Angeles. They toured the Southwest and California en route to and from the festival and received many accolades along the way.

At the end of 2003, the Merchants began work on their next album, tentatively titled Everything is the Hardest Thing to Hear.