RULERS OF THE IZZ

WHO DEM MUR­LOCS

Black Magazine - - Blacklist -

If you’ve ever spent much time along the Vic­to­rian surf coast, you would know that it’s a pretty quiet place with not a whole lot go­ing on – frankly, it’s dead bor­ing. This makes it all the more sur­pris­ing that it has served as the breed­ing ground for some of Mel­bourne’s most in­ter­est­ing bands. King Giz­zard & The Lizard Wizard, along with la­bel­mates The Mur­locs, are per­haps the two most well-known bands to emerge from the garage rock re­nais­sance that’s been brew­ing in the re­gion over the past four or so years. Al­ways un­pre­dictable and ab­surdly pro­lific, King Giz­zard & The Lizard Wizard are go­ing from strength to strength. The band have re­leased four LPS and two EPS since 2011, each re­mark­ably dif­fer­ent – where 2012’s snarling 12 Bar Bruise syn­the­sised the best bits of San Francisco garage stal­warts Thee Oh Sees and Ty Se­gall, 2013’s follow up Eyes Like The Sky, a spaghetti-western-in­flu­enced con­cept al­bum, seemed to owe more to ‘60s in­stru­men­tal rock­ers The Shad­ows. Al­bum num­ber three Float Along – Fill Your Lungs, re­leased later that year, marked a dra­matic evo­lu­tion in the band’s sound: the al­bum is funky as shit, sitar-laden and smoothly pro­duced, al­ter­nat­ing dreamy soul-in­spired tracks with more in­sis­tent psy­che­delic rock. The band’s most re­cent record Odd­ments, re­leased in March this year, com­bines all the el­e­ments that made their first and third records so com­pelling: some songs take the same force­ful blown-out ap­proach that made the for­mer so vi­tal, while oth­ers main­tain the same groovy swag­ger in­tro­duced on Float Along. It’s shap­ing up to be a big year for the seven-piece, who are tour­ing the United States for the first time in May, and are also

set to play the Ice­land Air­waves fes­ti­val in Novem­ber along­side The Flaming Lips and Un­known Mor­tal Orches­tra – ex­cit­ing times! While not as ex­per­i­men­tal as King Giz­zard & The Lizard Wizard, The Mur­locs are far from bor­ing – and although front­man Am­brose Kenny-smith also plays har­mon­ica in King Gizz, they are def­i­nitely not a sim­ple side­pro­ject.

The Mur­locs traf­fic in blown-out, jaunty blues rock that in­hab­its a sonic ter­ri­tory redo­lent of the bril­liant Nuggets com­pi­la­tions re­leased by Patti Smith Group gui­tarist Lenny Kaye in the early ‘70s – it’s psy­che­delic rock ‘60s-style, with all the elec­tric blues in­flu­ence safely in­tact. Here, Kenny-smith’s mouth­harp play­ing truly comes into it’s own, com­ple­ment­ing the gui­tar work and his own wail­ing vo­cal style.

Pro­duced by King Giz­zard front­man Stu Macken­zie, the band’s de­but al­bum Loop­holes con­tin­ues where their two pre­vi­ous EPS left off (The Mur­locs and Teepee EP, both re­leased in 2012). Adding some ex­tra re­verb to their sound, the al­bum fea­tures some slower-paced soul­ful jams along­side the sorts of rol­lick­ing blues-tinged bangers that they’ve built their rep­u­ta­tion on – it’s mu­sic that begs you to smoke a few cones and dance jelly-legged around the lounge room. ‘Odd­ments’ by King Giz­zard & The Lizard Wizard and ‘Loop­holes’ by The Mur­locs are out now via Flight­less/re­mote Con­trol Records.

TWO BANDS RULE THE ROOST WHEN IT COMES TO GARAGE ROCK FROM GEE­LONG, KING GIZ­ZARD & THE LIZARD WIZARD AND LA­BEL MATES THE MUR­LOCS. JAMIE WDZIEKONSKI MON­TAGES THEM UP AND MICHAEL WALSH WON­DERS HOW TWO GREAT BANDS CAN COME FROM SOME­WHERE 'SO BOR­ING'...

king­giz­zardandthe­lizard­wiz­ard.com the­mur­locs.band­camp.com

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