It is fairly safe ground to state that Father Murphy and new release Pain Is On Our Side Now is not going to be for everyone whilst plenty of those brave enough to completely immerse in its scalding sonic explorations will need therapy of some descript right after. The band has consistently transfixed ears and psyche with challenging, at times uncomfortable, provocations but their new incitement disorientates and consumes the listener in their most hellacious nightmare yet. Released via Aagoo Records/Boring Machines and coming in two single-sided 10” vinyl incitements containing two movements intended for simultaneous play, Pain Is On Our Side Now is beauteous mental and sonic bedlam, Receiving a digital promo for the release meant we could only experience the four tracks consecutively and that was startling, intimidating, and haunting enough so playing the tracks in the way intended maybe having a psychiatrist on speed dial would be a good pre-plan.
Consisting of Freddie Murphy, Chiara Lee, and Vittorio Demarin, the Venice born Father Murphy have released a trio of albums with numerous EPs and limited releases alongside which started with a debut album crafting twisted psychedelic pop. Their sound has evolved across each subsequent release, their 2008 second full-length And He Told Us To Turn To The Sun exploring a concept of heresy and a darker predacious sound. Gaining praise on both sides of the pond from an acclaiming media and fans such as Julian Cope, Deerhoof, and Michael Gira, the trio has constantly pushed their and our imagination and shadows. Pain Is On Our Side Now follows acclaimed 2012 album Anyway, Your Children Will Deny It, and a remix album titled Father Murphy: Heretical Review which featured interpretations of tracks on its predecessor from artists such as Black Dice, Philippe Petit, Sic Alps, Indian Jewelry, Thulebasen and E.M.A. Like its predecessor, the EP was recorded and produced by Greg Saunier from Deerhoof, and with its concept of failure guiding its tortuous ingenuity, makes for a frightening but thoroughly captivating violation.
Opening track Let The Wrong Rise With You is a hell bred snarling beast of an incitement, a sonic predator with slavering noise sculpted jaws and deviously deceptive intent. A slow stalking yet voraciously breathing mix of industrial like scarring and psychedelic ambient seared with melodic cinders, the piece envelops the senses and emotions, its dawning and slowly towering presence revealing the bowels of hell and the beauty of submission. A mid-way calm or rather respite is the doorway into an even stronger haunt, choral breezes soaked in discord flirting within the dank once hallowed now corrupted jowls of the song’s cinematic intent. You almost feel the band has missed its time in a way as they would have made the perfect complement and antagonist to the films of Dario Argento.
The first song on the second disc is They Will All Fail You, which played together with the opener creates a new disturbance under the name Let Them All Fail With You. Violence is soon followed by a discordant drone and sampled female vocals/shouts/cries. It reaps the darkest nightmarish possibilities but with a restraint which threatens and plagues the imagination whilst allowing some sense of escape. That is until the demonic beats and a howling sonic slow ravishment emerges to deepen the mental mire. You can only imagine the result of the combination of songs without the physical forms to toy with but it certainly does not promise to be healthy but you suspect will be enthrallingly invigorating.
The second pairing sees Bones Got Dry and Despite All The Grief laying upon each other for Grieving for our Bones. The first of the two is a rasping, ground dwelling pestilential sonic scraping of the senses with a heightened drama to its walls and climate. It is a chilling and cold fall into the darkest, blackest Gehenna which the second piece you can only see accentuating and deepening with its own pit spawned humming and heavy background malevolent drone.
Pain Is On Our Side Now is a startling and insidious confrontation when taken as single tracks and you suspect must come with an intensity to leave whimpering a suitable response when combining those elements. Father Murphy is a band to devour and cower from, a proposition which can only do you harm and good, if you dare brave their invitations.
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