Tuesday, July 08, 2008

Free and legal MP3 from Murdocks (edgy power pop)

"Spirit of '95" - Murdocks
     Sunny power pop crossed with something trickier and edgier. I hesitate, however, to use the "punk pop" (or is it "pop punk"?) label, because to me that implies something (sorry to say) dumber and less nuanced that this little two-minute gem. Not that many punk pop bands write in 3/4 time, to begin with. This is no waltz, however--these guys have figured out how to make three-beated measures sound assertive and symmetrical. Punchy verses with an ascending tail alternate with an almost lilting chorus...and that's more or less the song. The lyrics basically stop less than halfway through; the song has such intriguing momentum one barely notices.
     A lot of "Spirit of '95"'s edginess is delivered via singer/guitarist Franklin Morris's no holds barred singing--he sounds perpetually on the verge of screaming, and yet comes across as warm and musical at the same time. Some of that feeling is generated specifically from the chorus, with its attractive, downward-trending, octave-spanning melody. I like by the way how he then uses a guitar break to give us a nice variation of the same line. That'll really get it stuck in your head.
     Murdocks are a trio from Austin that have been playing since 2003, although no longer with their original drummer or bass player. "Spirit of '95" is from the band's Roar! EP, which was released in April on Surprise Truck Entertainment.

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