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2008-06-08: The Boston Herald

Getting Away with Murder

Punk spirit alive in Roach McKrackin’s new band

June 8th, 2008 – By Barry Thompson

If Roach McKrackin has a powerful case of ADD, he’s made it an asset.

Having spent the bulk of the ’90s co-fronting the South Shore pogo-punk rampage Entrophy, he’s since clocked in a stint as a jungle DJ and written, directed and produced “Terrace St.,” an indie horror film scheduled to open this Halloween.

Now McKrackin (legal name: David Benedetti) is in a band again: the Murder. Strangely enough, he talks about his many undertakings as if they were one big project.

“I think it’s something of a natural progression,” McKrackin said of his foray from punk to jungle. “They both have similar influences. Reggae is a common ground for both of those. A lot of the old Oi! skinheads are also jungle DJs now, which is interesting.”

Likewise for his turn from DJing to filmmaking.

“One sort of led into the other,” he said, lounging in his Roxbury apartment, flanked by guitarist Pat Gill, drummer Jeremy G. and bassist Steve Brocone. The soundtrack of “Terrace St.,” which chronicles the ill-fated exploits of ravers who accidently wander onto the set of a snuff film, is largely a drum & bass affair.

But McKrackin wouldn’t have played in Entrophy for 10 years if punk wasn’t his first love. His affection shows on the Murder’s self-titled debut EP, an invigorating and notably well-produced slice of punk traditionalism that was recorded in McKrackin’s home studio. It exudes an unrefined disposition that’s faded from punk – the sort of disposition displayed by guitarist Gill when he explains how he became a Murder-er.

“I was trying to find a new band for a long time, looking on craigslist and (stuff),” said Gill, formerly of Mob Rule. “All the places were north of Boston or in Allston. Too far away. This is right down the street from my house.”

Geographic convenience isn’t Gill’s only reason for playing in the Murder, but you’ve got to respect his lack of self-censorship, which is nothing if not punk rock.

McKrackin also has a track record of designing clever merch-table paraphernalia. His newest innovation: a sticker depicting the state of Massachusetts and the phrase “Paint it Red.” That’s not a reference to blood and absolutely not a reference to communism. Think economics instead.

“Punks want less government intrusion in their lives,” McKrackin opined. “Realistically, the pro-government Democratic Party has all their big money social programs. Not that there’s anything wrong with social programs, but there has to be a limit somewhere. Don’t get me wrong, these neo-con Republicans, they’re no better than the Democrats. While I do not have the hatred for George Bush a lot of other bands do, his spending record is right up there with some of these big liberals.”

The Murder, with Eyewitness and To Speak in Silence, at the Abbey Lounge, Somerville, on Wednesday. Tickets: $7; 617-441-9631.

From The Boston Herald