Alternative music reviews

October 31, 2005

The Halloween Party by Murkin

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Self-proclaimed “anti-popsters”, Murkin are an off-the-wall rock band who was zany enough to call their debut album ‘We’re Not Pretty & We’re Not Clever’. This Halloween themed single, titled unsurprisingly ‘Halloween Party’, is to be conveniently released on Halloween. And I’ll refrain from using the word Halloween again. It’s a fuzzy garage-rock tinged single and although the hook is derivative it still packs a potent punch due to the insanely simple chorus. In contrast, ‘Sometimes’ introduces females vocals from band member Holly which works pretty well in the context of the song, yet another worthy chorus and fast-paced basic three chords turn a potentially turgid tune into something that does not disappoint. Vocalist El-Gordo has an unassuming voice which compliments the more sedate ‘Freeworld’, which has ringing acoustics harking back to the eighties of The Replacements and mellow (if there’s such a thing) Husker Du. Production-wise, these songs are tinny and lack a coat of polish, former single ‘This Time’ sounds like it was recorded in a shed. This does not diminish the music, as you don’t need flawless production to get the most out of the songs. In fact, the moving melodies and enthusiasm overcomes any shortcomings. The band also has a perverse and welcome sense of humour; their website contains many nuggets of irrelevancy from band interests ranging from “screaming in terror, throughout the night” to “basket weaving” and the anti-pop manifesto of attempting to redress the manufactured pop imbalance with issue driven songs. Have Murkin succeeded in wiping out banal pop music? Well, of course not, but as least they gave it a go….

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Review by Nick Collings

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