The Irish outfit have perfected the no-holds-barred hardcore temperament, unleashing unbridled hell with every devastating leading line. Having previously provided support for The Dillinger Escape Plan and Every Time I Die, their peers’ influences are evident, but Murdock have a secret ingredient – transitioning between deadly whispers and punishing screams with consummate ease. Forgivably sounding as if each riff were the output of a dozen guitarists, the three piece have broken onto the scene with an almighty bang.
There’s a crystal clear experimental bravery throughout ‘Dead Lung’, as menacing whispers blend into screams effortlessly during ‘I Am Not A Continent’ and ‘What You Don’t Like’. “Redefine me,” begs the former, characteristic of their genre-smashing outlook. Through the resignation of ‘The Signal In The Noise’, the racing fretwork of ‘Old Blood Dead Lung’ and the devastating doom riffs of ‘Brain Face’, Murdock already showcase an arsenal of tricks up their sleeve. The driven chants and unfettered energy of ‘Verbalectomy’ frame an astounding solo that should’ve lasted an awful lot longer.
“Does logic fail you?”, vocalist Aidan Cunningham wails through ‘Deer Noises’. Ironically, logic remains fully distant from ‘Dead Lung’, as melodic interludes amid the abrasive chaos depict Murdock’s mastery of near-impossible contrast. The deadly ‘What You Don’t Like’ demonstrates a swaying, rousing aspect to their disorganised, disillusioned cacophony. There are few obstacles standing in their way, and diversity is certainly not one of them.
“I don’t care about the small town politics,” screams ‘Erk’, ultimately defining Murdock’s stance, as if the hardcore blood running through their veins wasn’t enough. Ronan Nolan’s jaw-dropping drums deserve high praise for somehow controlling the pandemonium.
Album highlight ‘Narrowcasting’ presents an attractively sinister downturn, allying with seductive closer ‘Monographia’ to suggest the trio have both ends of the tempo spectrum covered, to the extent that ‘Leave Me Here For The Crows’ extends this dalliance toward a subdued, almost melodic atmosphere.
With astounding versatility, Murdock’s debut has proved they’re ready for success. Frenzied disorder at the best of times, combined with ominous instrumentals and seductive slow numbers, Murdock are pre-packed hardcore giants in waiting.
‘Dead Lung’ by Murdock is out now on Basick Records.
Words by Ali Cooper (@AliZombie_)