How to describe Dead Lung, the new album from Dublin trio Murdock? Well quite simply it is a BEAST! In sheer power, ferocity, and primal instincts the album is a devourer of senses and psyche. Similarly though it has all the creative wile and lithe characteristics of a predator and once it has its claws in there is no escaping the savaging of hardcore, noise, or the technical trespass assaulting ears and igniting the imagination. Dead Lung is just immense.
Since emerging Murdock has earned an increasing and devoted following to go along with the reputation bred of being one incendiary device live. It is a devastating experience which in the words of the band has the attitude, “If you are not bleeding or exhausted, what is the point?” The band has ignited stages alongside the likes of Every Time I Die, The Dillinger Escape Plan, Unearth, Sick Of It All, Lower Than Atlantis, Coilguns and numerous more, either on tour or at individual shows but now it is their debut album Dead Lung, released via Basick Records, that is poised to be the detonator to greater intensive climes, and with little to surely stand in their way such its might and hellacious alchemy.
The album opens with the first single taken from it, Deer Noises. It is a track going for the jugular from its first breath, riffs gnawing the senses whilst rhythms venomously batter them, and it is fair to say that the sonic spicing wrapping both is up to no good either. It is a magnetic entrance enhanced further by the raw vocals of guitarist Aidan and the contagious elements flaring up in the tempest of sound and emotion. It is not just an infectious essence emerging either, an inventive unpredictable flurry of fierce and melodic twists adds to the gripping turmoil too. Coilguns comes to mind listening to the song but equally spices of bands like The Ghost of a Thousand and Kunz tease thoughts, all mere whispers in the roar though as the album gets off to a thumping irresistible start.
The band has so many weapons that impress, that unpredictability a major one outside of the sound itself and it continues to seduce across the album starting with I Am Not A Continent next. This also has the listener’s throat in its sonic jaws from the first second, guitars and bass snarling and ravaging the senses whilst the beats of Ronan show more restraint yet still unload with a punishing intent. Slips into mellow scenery equipped with sultry harmonies and progressive beauty virtually flirt with the listener inside the encounter too but always they have to submit for the similarly riveting fury fuelling the proposition.
A lustful appetite is already brewing by the time What You Don’t Like takes over; its psychotic character and agitated rhythmic bait a swift proposal to be feared and embraced. It is even angrier than the rages before it but also in some ways lacking the same addictive quality, though this is more to do with personal preferences across Dead Lung. The track seems to lean deeper in the hardcore side of the band compared to its more evenly sculpted predecessors but also arguably more experimental ideation with its Deftones like detours. It provides another fascinating incitement though but one soon surpassed by the band’s latest outstanding single Erk. An avalanche of rhythms bruise and inflame ears first, riffs and sonic ferocity just as toxic from within the storm. The bass of Rob lays down a mean throaty lure throughout the increasingly anthemic and volatile brute of a triumph also, but the song is a success again unafraid to slip into melodic beauty and evocative caresses. Its hooks are sheer addiction on top of it all and the band gets more accomplished in ability and imagination in three and a half minutes than most others will across a whole album.
Narrowcasting finds a post punk coldness and monotone elegance to its prowling presence next, the song managing to sound like a hybrid of Palms meets late seventies band Artery. It is just as intimidating in its doom lined mellowness as it is in the outbursts of pent up vocal and sonic vitriol and takes album and listener on a completely new direction to what came before whilst continuing in the same vein as the previous provocations. The track is mouth-watering stuff matched by Brainface which explodes in the face after the brief jazzy and progressive instrumental seduction of 51 West 95th St. This leads straight into the sonic windstorm and blistering inhospitality of Brainface, a relatively short punk brawl clad in noise rock devilry and furious dissonance.
Neither The Signal In The Noise nor Leave Me Here For The Crows take any prisoners, the first a scorching and scarring sonic consumption speared by magnetic rhythm invention, warped slithers of unconnected styles, and rabid vocals. Once feeling in the senses returns, there is only pleasure for the might and thrilling violation of the track, the same applying to its successor. This takes a more controlled assault to the senses yet is still a volcanic maliciousness which intensifies its potency and weight with every passing swipe and grazing riffs, whilst its core groove just makes the tongue pass over lips.
Juices spill again with the cyclonic Old Blood Dead Lung, a glorious beating with convulsive rhythms and a bass sound you can only describe as demonic. The guitar enterprise and vocal vehemence of Aidan strip ears of their stability magnificently and in no time the track is locked in as a favourite across the increasingly impressing album.
It should be noted that every glimpse of the song we are trying to portray is as just that, choice moments in the ever evolving and twisted landscape of the tracks, each conflicts you can make assumptions and have expectations over but will never get a full handle on until heard, as Vebalectomy next. It is hardcore and punk in its heart but a broad and constantly shifting diversity of sound and ideation in presence, and arguably this is one of the more straight forward tracks in its make-up.
Dead Lung comes to a close through firstly the portentous doom seeded Nineteeneightyfive, a sinister and almost meditative soundscape as hypnotic as it is threatening and lastly Monographia which blooms from within its predecessor and returns to the post punk hued atmosphere and persuasion glanced over previously in the album. The vocals of Aidan and Rob are smouldering caresses within the raw and caustic but similarly reserved sounds, though in time it all becomes a turbulent and bracing proposition.
It is a superb end to an engrossing and simply thrilling album. Even the pair of singles put out just before Dead Lung barely gave a true picture of the variety and scintillating depths of songwriting and adventure of sound to be found within it. The list already is getting long for possible album of the year contenders but there is no other option than to add Murdock’s name to it.
Dead Lung is available now via Basick Records @ http://music.basickrecords.com/album/dead-lung
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