Het Australische vijftal van de ‘energetic, punky and psychedelic’ rock band The Murlocs opereert vanuit Melbourne en “Rapscallion” is alweer hun zesde studio-album. Met leden uit bands als Orb, King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard, Crepes en Beans kun je The Murlocs waarachtig een ‘dynamic musical collective’ noemen en ‘strapped with fuzzy guitar licks, feverish bass-lines and psychedelic brightness’ bevat hun nieuwe album ‘an ultimate mix of bluesy feelgood, laidback stoner, fun punk and catchy 60’s tinged rock’!
The sixth full-length from The Murlocs, “Rapscallion”, is a coming-of-age novel in an album form, populated by an outrageous cast of misfit characters: teenage vagabonds, small-time criminals, junkyard dwellers and truck-stop transients. Over the course of 12 hypnotic and volatile rock-and-roll songs, the Melbourne-based five-piece dream up a wildly squalid odyssey partly inspired by frontman Ambrose Kenny-Smith’s own adolescence as a nomadic skate kid. The most magnificently heavy work yet from The Murlocs, the result is an endlessly enthralling album equally steeped in danger and delirium and the wide-eyed romanticism of youth.
Self-produced by the band in the early stages of the pandemic, “Rapscallion” was recorded remotely in the home studios of Kenny-Smith (vocals, guitar, harmonica), Callum Shortal (guitar), Matt Blach (drums), Cook Craig (bass), and Tim Karmouche (keys). In a departure from the effusive garage-rock of 2021’s “Bittersweet Demons”, the album’s musical DNA contains strains of stoner-rock and the more primitive edge of post-punk, thanks largely to Shortal’s influence as the primary composer on “Rapscallion”. But despite that darker and more formidable sound, The Murlocs instill every track with the freewheeling energy they’ve brought the stage in supporting such acts as Pixies, Stephen Malkmus, Ty Segall and Thee Oh Sees.
The Murlocs is a truly dynamic musical collective; all five members also perform in other bands: Kenny-Smith and Craig each play in the globally beloved King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard, Shortal plays guitar in Orb, and Karmouche and Blach are frontmen for Crepes and Beans, respectively. For The Murlocs, the making of “Rapscallion” marked both a major creative leap and a welcome reminiscence of their own youthful exploits. “As a kid I was out the door as soon I could, just chasing new experiences, and it felt good to look back on all these wonderful memories of that time – although there were certainly a lot of very dicey moments too”, says Kenny-Smith. “It was exciting to write in a different way rather than coming up with 12 songs about my anxieties, to live vicariously through that character and get back to a feeling of exploration. I hope when people hear the album they really dig deep into the world of the story we’ve created, and it gives them that same sensation of traveling into the unknown”.