INDIE ALBUM OF THE WEEK

Loopholesannounces The Murlocs as one of the most interesting new arrivals in Aussie rock’n’roll. The band assumes its place in a dank garage, turns everything up damn loud and lets the booze flow freely.

The tunes conjure a foggy swamp into close view. Meanwhile, Stu Mackenzie’s (King Gizzard) production carefully processes the guitar-loaded noise, injecting Spector-esque breathing room. You can sense the five dudes boogieing in unison, but they’re not quite breaking down the walls. That is, except for singer/harmonica wailer Ambrose Kenny-Smith, whose vocal concoction of lived suffering and whisky-guzzling hysteria is the crux of the band’s appeal.

Kenny-Smith’s madman delivery sounds transported from an altogether different era, which makes you wonder what on earth he’s singing about. It’s fairly impossible to make sense of the distortion-shrouded yelps, and flicking through the lyric booklet reveals that, other than invoking requisite bluesy tropes (po’ boy quibbles, railroads, cane fields and suicide), there’s not much to report.

Never mind, though, because Loopholes shows that The Murlocs are stocked with plenty of coal to keep this train rollin’ forward. Hopefully there’ll be some curious detours next time around but, for now, jump on board, grab a JD and coke and indulge in the dirty fun.

3.5/5

Loopholes is out now through Flightless / Remote Control.

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