Review: The Murlocs – Young Blindness
Shut your doors, slip on your best PJs, turn up the volume on your speakers and grab your best and most delight-inducing beverage, for today your youth awakens. Immerse yourself in the sounds of Melbourne based band The Murlocs who have released another album, Young Blindness, following their 2014 debut, Loopholes.
Having originated in 2011 from Victoria’s surf coast, The Murlocs draw back to their roots in their latest longplayer, which carries a carefree and high-spirited sound in its listing.
The eleven track LP oozes with youthful vigour integrated with the muted tones of nostalgia thanks to lead vocalist Ambrose Kenny-Smith’s subdued vocals and the band’s use of distorted licks and grunge sounding chords.
Referenced in tracks ‘Adolescence’ and ‘Rolling On’ is a sense of youthfulness submerged in with the internalised reflective process of adapting to change. With repetitive riff-laden tracks acting as a sort of underlying comfort provided by the slow paced tempo, there is a strange feeling of complacency created by the music that is almost hypnotic.
The title track, ‘Young Blindness’ has a slow, stagnated tone created by the use of vibrato on electric guitar riffs and Ambrose’s vocals carry through a sense of uncertainty despite the well-timed but strangely muted rhythms.
‘Happy Face’ is a song that sounds familiar to pop-music through its use of an up-tempo beat and repetitive chord structure. The cheery disposition perhaps hinted in the title itself is somewhat misleading with the elements of cheerfulness suppressed by the use melancholic lyrics and lethargic rhythm played as if at half speed.
‘Let Me Down Lightly’ drips with the comfort and catchiness of perfect rhymes, rolling guitar riffs, and slowed down rhythms whilst ‘Reassurance’, the last track of the album is the most up-tempo track creating a sort of restlessness in the listener but serving as a rightful momentum thrusting oneself away from the past and into the future.
With a track listing that foreshadows the fear associated with ageing, Young Blindness is an album which comforts despite its more somber lyrics through its use of repeated riffs and beach-like sounds. Lyrically, Young Blindness turns us towards a place of discomfort, examining themes of anxiety and self-doubt associated with the weariness of youthfulness with the ever-looming regret of experience.
The Murlocs – Young Blindness is out now via Flightless / Remote Control.
The band will be stopping at their hometown of Melbourne this Friday 8th and Saturday 9th to celebrate with 0.99c beers. So if you’re in Melbourne grab a drink with the Murlocs to celebrate.
They then go on to make their US live debut at the 2016 Levitation Festival and play at Sydney’s Oxford Art Factory on the 7th of November.
Review by Addy Fong.