Thursday, August 19, 2010

One Murdock It's Ok To Like

In the few years that had passed since Austin’s Murdocks released Surrenderender (2005), the band’s original lineup had fractured, and agents and journalists stopped calling. “You need to constantly release in this business or people lose interest and move on,” says Morris.It was around this time that bassist Kyle Robarge moved to Austin from Los Angeles and the two met in a coffee shop. “The music was raw and awesome and I was impressed with his vision and integrity,” says Robarge. “Murdocks had passed on a major label deal a few years earlier because they wanted someone to ghostwrite Franklin’s songs for him. You don’t see bands turn down that sort of thing in LA.”

2007’s Roar EP, the product of the trio’s early work together, was a 19-minute powerhouse incorporating elements of indie-rock, power-pop, garage and punk rock. Distortionist (2010) is undoubtedly a step forward for the band, both their heaviest and poppiest work to date. It is this aesthetic dissonance that sets Murdocks apart from other artist: they are as simple as they are challenging, as morbid as they are innocent, as naïve as they are jaded.

Distortionist is an exercise in lashing out at everything at once—divorce, failure, addiction, religion, family—an exercise in meeting futility with scorn. “It’s about the frustration you feel when you realize that where you thought your life would end up, and where it actually ended up are two totally different places,” says Murdocks frontman Franklin Morris. “It is impossible to reconcile sometimes, to adjust your dreams and expectations any further. It becomes absurd and disorienting, and the feeling multiplies in your brain until you just boil over.” It was at this boiling point Morris crafted the songs to become the core of the band’s long-awaited second album. Within a few years Morris found himself unemployed, divorced, and in a deteriorating band dropped by their long-time record label. “I didn’t know how to cope with any of it, and I guess I just kind of exploded.”

Download: Black Jesus Knocking

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