As I mentioned in the review of their 2010 album Distortionist, I discovered the Murdocks when they opened for Ben Kweller many years back. Since then I found their very 90’s rock style to be bother refreshing and a pleasant reminder of the awesomeness that was. With only two albums released at that point it seemed that the band had all but vanished from existence a few years back after singer/guitarist Franklin Morris broke his hand.
This all changed recently when, on their facebook page, the band dropped a simple one word message “Friday”. Those of us still following them awaiting a much delayed followup to the nearly perfect Distortionist were in shock, could Franklin, Kyle and David really be releasing another album? Or was this just another empty promise? Thankfully, it was not just a ruse, but the promise of a truly rocking album entitled ‘III’.
Why This Album?
Murdocks (no ‘the’ in that name) are one of those bands that more people need to know about. While there are a ton of bands out there, there are not many with the pure rock sensibilities like this Austin based band. This trio do not try to be anything more than the rock band that they are and that is what makes them special. They know their stuff and fully own it in their performances whether in a live concert or in the recording studio.
Where I thought this band spent the entirety of their talent on their previous album, Distortionist, Franklin and team proved me entirely wrong. III brings me right back to the first time I saw this band on stage in a tiny venue in a small Texas town. It reminds me of why I loved this band in the first place, they hold nothing back. They embody the pure unrefined feeling that I got growing up in the 90’s on the classic Seattle Sound Grunge/Post Grunge era. They could have easily fit in with bands like Mudhoney, The Posies, Fastball, Soundgarden and, yes, even Nirvana. The cool thing is, they manage to embrace this feel and style without ever copying or emulating any of those bands who are clearly an inspiration to them. In a way they feel like a lost treasure from the 90’s finally being uncovered and revealed to the world as the gorgeous multifaceted gem that they are. Whether it is through the emotionally driven vocals from Franklin Morris, the steady and deep bass riffs from Kyle Robarge or the powerful drum beats provided by David Jones, this band has just gotten started showing us that Rock and Roll is still very much alive and can be found in the band Murdocks.
III is intense, introspective and just damned good. Perfectly produced with the help of Chico Jones over the past five years, this is an album that you must pick up, you must listen to and you must enjoy. Help get the word out about this tremendous band because I really don’t want to wait another ten years for more from them. Then again, if we get something this fantastic every ten years, maybe the next one will be one that will change the world.
Late to the Game 5/19/2020
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