Murdock’s band motto states ‘IF YOU’RE NOT BLEEDING OR EXHAUSTED, WHAT’S THE POINT?’ Let this serve as a warning as to what you’re getting yourself into with the Dublin three piece’s new album Dead Lung.
With a sound rooted in hardcore, and encompassing elements of mathcore, punk, metal and jazz, this album is by no means a walk in the park. The vocals are growled and shouted over ferocious riffing, with time signatures changing with no prior warning and elaborate tangents flying off left right and centre. The band’s tightness and precision in creating such complexity, and it must be said; insanity, is both impressive and terrifying.
Opening track ‘Deer Noises’ bears a resemblance to the likes of the noisy, discordant Dillinger Escape Plan. The melodic breaks are more like eyes of the storm than opportunities to catch your breath, you always know there’s an aural pummeling waiting for you just around the corner
After a hectic opening on ‘I Am Not A Continent’, at times you almost feel confident enough to nod along, but don’t! It’s a trap! This song is Jekyll, Hyde and all his friends and family rolled into a four and a half minute whirlwind of madness.
‘Narrowcasting’ is reminiscent of Converge’s album ‘Axe To Fall’. The muted chords and creepy whispered vocals create a sense of despair, before the band launch into a heavy chorus. Followed by a short classic rock solo, this song has the most easily discernible structure of the album so far, while still maintaining the band’s penchant for time changes and tangential riffing
’51 West 95th St.’ introduces itself as a soft jazz number, before building into a post-rock sound and ending on a hyperspeed math rock riff, all in under a minute and a half. Nice!
‘The Signal In The Noise’ is an apt summary of the album. With a mathcore base again reminiscent of early Dillinger Escape Plan, the song moves through classic punk, old school hardcore and even has a brief jazz flourish. It’s a beast with many heads and all the stability of a house built from cardboard on a fault line during tornado season.
The penultimate track ‘Nineteeneightyfive’ is a slow-paced instrumental piece, beginning quietly, yet menacingly and building into a heavy riff before slowing down and leading seamlessly into closer ‘Monographia’. These two tracks together show a change in direction for Murdock to a more post-rock influenced sound, perhaps to be built on in future releases. ‘Monographia’ is an altogether more toned-down affair, with gentle melodic vocals and bearing somewhat of a resemblance to the likes of Isis and Neurosis.
This album, while definitely not for everyone, is a must-listen for fans of metal and hardcore. For a trio, Murdock display an enormous sound and are very tight and musically diverse. Their live show is a raucous and volatile experience, and these lads look set to make an impact on the international stage.