Melbourne’s 60’s tinged psych-rock punks The Murlocs showcase their softer side with new “Compos Mentis” single & video. Speaking with FLOOD which debuted the track, frontman Ambrose Kenny-Smith explains: “After a long day of truck stop fights, hitchhiking and getting kicked off trains, our beloved rapscallion protagonist decides to spend the night in an abandoned junkyard. Finding peace within the garbage that surrounds him, he begins to question his purpose in life and whether or not he’s in control of his own mind.”
Strapped with fuzzy guitar licks, feverish bass and psychedelic brightness, their brand new studio album Rapscallion is due out September 16 on ATO Records. A 12-track 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.
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.
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.
Photo Courtesy: Izzie Austin