It’s a good time to be an Irish heavy music fan. Two of my favorite albums of the year to date have hailed from our island of rain and stout. In March, No Spill Blood released their bizarre yet groovy synths ‘n riffs monster Heavy Electricity. And now Murdock have released a mathcore masterwork in Dead Lung, their crushingly heavy metallic punk assault.
Taking the blender/ kitchen sink approach to hardcore the album moves by at a frenetic pace, drums beaten to the limit of endurance, riffs appearing from the musical aether for seconds before vanishing to be replaced by something equally angular and memorable. Indeed a blender is an apt description for the mood the album as a whole evokes. Listening to it is like sticking your hand in a blender and holding it a hair’s breadth from the spinning blade. Oh, and the blade has barbed wire and grenades on it. It’s a combination of a giant adrenaline rush and a feeling of constantly being on the edge of slipping into chaos and destruction. Fortunately, Murdock are sure footed, and keep their balance on the borderline throughout. There’s always an eerie weirdness to the quieter passages and the most violently disordered passages sit in that sweet spot where they’re musically understandable. It reminds me of the Dillinger Escape Plan with some of the rougher edges filed off, but Murdock never feel like just a clone. They’re more like musical kindred spirits, Dillinger with a heavier sense of humor and fun, unafraid to name one of their tracks “I Am Not A Continent” or give you just enough of a musical hook to leave you wanting more when the song ends.
With their innovative brilliance, tight songwriting skills and titanic pendulous musical balls, Murdock have written my new favorite Irish album this year and hopefully taken a step closer to the recognition this kind of performance deserves. You can listen to bitchin’ mathcore blast “The Signal In The Noise” below or download Dead Lung onto your personal computer machine via the band’s iTunes.