Murdock are a self-proclaimed “fucking noise machine”. That is the kind of boisterous statement that immediately heightens expectation. In other words, they better fucking be, or they will find that their time in the spotlight is short-lived. Simply creating noise hardly impresses, either – it only takes a handful of dissonant chords and a pair of drumsticks to make a racket – so the odds are stacked against the Irish trio before a note has even been played. That makes their chaotically crafted debut, Dead Lung, even more of a triumph.
In seconds, opener ‘Deer Noises‘ breaks free from any pre-conceptions, smashing through bar upon bar of ludicrous time signatures in a remarkably organised fashion. The words “Calculating Infinity” immediately spring to mind; there’s an underlying inexperience, like in The Dillinger Escape Plan‘s debut, that prevents all the butchered pieces slotting back together seamlessly, but that is irrelevant when such destruction occurs.
Throughout, Dead Lung is relentless. ‘Narrowcasting‘ offers slight respite with its (almost) nu-metal foundations, but it’s straight back in the whirlwind for ‘Brainface‘, ‘The Signal In The Noise‘, and beyond. Murdock are not solely about blistering tempos, though, as the instrumental ‘Nineteeneightyfive‘ and closer ‘Monographia‘ suggest. There’s a huge, unmistakable influence from Deftones in these particular tracks as they squeeze atmosphere from slow, sludgy, and eerie chords and lethargic drumming.
The only major criticism of Dead Lung is that it is an awful lot to digest. Clocking out after 50 minutes, it’s not the longest album in history, but its merciless nature makes it an exhausting listen. Yet, that is probably the kind of response they were hoping for.
One thing is for sure, Murdock are a “fucking noise machine”. Nurtured by Basick Records, said machine is likely to be well-oiled, serviced, and running for years to come.