Indie Music Digest – May 31st, 2010 – By: Troy Spiropolous
Artist: The Murder
Album: Til Death
Label: Boston Punx
Sounds Like: Dropkick Murphys, The Crime
Technical Grade: 7/10
Commercial Value: 6/10
Overall Talent: 7/10
Songwriting Skills: 7/10
Performance Skills: 7/10
Best Songs: Streets Of Boston, Soundclash, Switchblade
Boston based punk band The Murder sears with it’s debut EP “Til Death”.
Although the imagery is grim (dead birds and feathers on the CD cover and inlay no pics of the band), the sounds recall the halcyon days of late 70’s/early 80’s punk in the vein of The Gears, The Germs, & even contemporaries like The Dropkick Murphys. Roach McCraklin & Pat Gill split vocal & guitar duties, Steve Brocone holds down the bottom end, & Jack Snyder provides the battery. The production is gritty, as if half of it were recorded on pro-tools & the other half in someone’s garage. This actually provides a nice balance to the songs with crisp clear drums & raucous vocals/guitar. The CD takes off with the “Streets Of Boston” (which recalls The Briggs “This Is LA”) paying homage to their hometown. Track number 3 is entitled “Six Strings” & is the popiest of the 6 tracks. It gaves us an idea of what The Murder would sound like if they were pursuing a pop punk formula such as Blink182. (which thankfully they are not). “Here We Go Again” almost had a late 50’s rockabilly Eddie Cochran vibe thanks to a nifty little guitar jib that permeates the verses & parts of the choruses, yet keeps within the band’s original recipe of straight forward, honest punk. Track 5, “Soundclash” was the most ambitious of the bunch featuring a freestyle dub/rap vocal (compliments of D!Arryval). This song featured a no frills punk rock track sandwiched between an intro & outro by D!Arryval very reminiscent of The Clash circa “Blackmarket Clash” (1980). The final track (my favorite) is “Switchblade”, a blistering attack of crunchy guitars and pulverizing double-bass drums that bring the CD home in a dramatic & menacing conclusion.
I understand that being a punk band gives you a license to bend the rules of accuracy in regards to performing & recording, but at times there were rushed beats & missed notes which could’ve been rectified. Whether this was intentional, overlooked, or perhaps prohibited due to budget restraints I don’t know, but it could’ve made a very good disc an epic one. The band also let the cat out of the bag during the track “Soundclash” that they have (although they prefer not to emphasize) the capability & creativity to expand their songwriting approach past what is considered “punk”.
This band could easily be the next Nomeansno writing songs that crossover into other subgenres of rock without compromising their punk roots. However, for fans that cherish the spirit & ethos of punk rock in it’s most primitive and enjoyable form, this CD (& this band) will definitely not disappoint. I highly recommend The Murder to these listeners.