The problem with a lot of noisecore is that it tries far, far too hard to just ‘be’ noisecore.
This means bands’ real identities get lost in a forest of all-over-the-place riffs, and you might as well forget about songs you actually want to listen to.
Murdock have realised this, and remedied it on this really quite superb exposition of noisecore tracks that combine power, manic intensity and foot tapping memorability.
They’ve got almost every ingredient right, except the desperately boring artwork. Luckily there’s an old adage about books and covers, I suppose.
Definitely one of the top tracks on here is the awesome ‘Narrowcasting’. It’s a real contrast to the rest, leaving behind the spazzmo attack in favour of a slow, dark, heaving tune. There are elements of the darkest Big Grunge tracks in here (Soundgarden’s ‘Limo Wreck’ and ‘Day I Tried To Live’ in particular), albeit through a more brutal prism.
The clever time signatures in it actually compliment its intensity rather than just being there for the sake of it. I think it’s probably the song of their career to this point, really easily.
After that the pace is ramped up once again with Brain Face, which draws heavily on the classic Noisecore blueprint as laid down by Botch, Burnt By The Sun and Dillinger Escape Plan. It’s just on the right side of eccentric, enough to sound manic and remain listenable.
And in fact that is pretty much the best description of this album. They have managed to find the exact line at which Noisecore remains vital and hummable without going wanky.
That’s down to their appreciation of when to just get back into 4/4 and rock out: something so many of their peers forget in their haste to have the most discordant chords going.
Now its not all plain sailing – ‘The Signal In The Noise’ for example frequently threatens to get all too self indulgent, and perhaps is just that bit to jerky (I think the word for it may be ‘angular’?) – but yes, they manage to dial it back just in time.
All The Good Stuff
‘Old Blood Dead Lung’ is awesome, keeping the intensity up and really nailing down into a track of surprising and consistent intensity.
All of this is made so much more powerful by the production, which is just to die for. Organic, rounded, warm, all the good stuff – natural and especially sympathetic to the roomy drums, which are blessed with a ton of dynamic.
And what drumming. Ronan Nolan is the powerhouse behind this band without doubt. Albeit that the rest of the lads are clearly tight as shit, this is the guy with the tricks and the timing that this genre demands. So well done there.
It’s a bit too long. They could and should have trimmed it by three or four tracks to distil the power, but it’s a fantastic leap on from what was already a good outing on their last record.
To succeed in making good tunes in a subgenre that’s just riddled with copycat riffing shows they’re really on the right track. To have the bravery to chuck big, clean sung tracks like ‘Monographia’ into that as well shows how competent they are.
Basically they’ve got the ideas, the discipline and the bottled anger. After that I suspect it’s genuinely all about the touring, because there’s very little else in their way to becoming a respected name in the bracket.
4/5 – Earl Grey ::: 27/04/15