Hailing from Melbourne, 60’s tinged psych-rock punks The Murlocs have announced their brand new studio album, Rapscallion, due out September 16 on ATO Records. Strapped with fuzzy guitar licks, feverish bass and psychedelic brightness, the 12-track collection is a coming-of-age novel in an album form. The wildly squalid odyssey populated by an outrageous cast of misfit characters — teenage vagabonds and small-time criminals, junkyard dwellers and truck-stop transients — is partly inspired by frontman Ambrose Kenny-Smith’s own adolescence as a nomadic skate kid. Their most magnificently heavy work yet, the result is an endlessly enthralling album equally steeped in danger and delirium and the wide-eyed romanticism of youth.
Following the nameless hero through an ill-fated adventure as a train stow-away, a turn of events leads listeners to lead single “Virgin Criminal” and its frenetically giddy, fuzzed-out account of his initiation into a crew of young bandits. “It’s about him doing his first crime, ripping off a convenience store, and getting off on the thrill of being an outlaw,” says Kenny-Smith.
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). 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.
In a departure from the effusive garage-rock of 2021’s Bittersweet Demons, the album’s musical DNA contains strains of stoner-metal and the more primitive edge of post-punk. Despite that darker and more formidable sound, The Murlocs instill every track with the freewheeling energy they’ve brought to the stage while supporting such acts as Pixies, Stephen Malkmus and The Jicks, Ty Segall and Thee Oh Sees. Today, the band is thrilled to announce an extensive North American tour kicking off at LEVITATION in Austin, TX and making stops in NYC, Philadelphia, Seattle, LA, Chicago and more. Tickets go on-sale July 15 @ 9amPT/12pmET.
Photo Courtesy: Izzie Austin