Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Father Murphy

Farther Murphy - And He Told Us To Turn to the Sun
Boring Machines CD
Contact: onga [at]
Xmas and New Year descended upon Idwal Towers like a heavy horse blanket muffling all sound and making movement impossible. I lay there like a coma patient, eyes shut wanting to make it all go away and for normality to return. Eventually, days later, I turned on the computer and stared at my junk mail, I walked for hours in the blinding winter sun trying to get the circulation going, I watched TV and I spun some 45’s that I bought in Oxfam. I read my book, I read the Radio Times, I did the crossword, the washing up, I made meals, I hung a picture, I lit the fire and eventually escaped to Bruges for three nights of heavenly beer drinking - except that the three best bars in Bruges were shut and the only portals of escape were a crammed tourist bar off the main square and a hostel bar where cigarette smoke hung a foot off the egg yellow ceiling. In the end I did lots of things that didn’t involve listening to music.
On return I was hoping that Father Murphy would drag me from this lassitude but their quirky, off kilter, Italian prog pop as recorded in a church eventually left me feeling baffled and annoyed with myself. Annoyed because I should like this but I don’t. It has lots of things going for it; nine short tracks over thirty five minutes, Beefheart like structure, toy keyboards, guitars that sound like they’ve been wound down an octave, medieval drums, male and female vocals and some quirky songs and yet and yet and yet after many a listen I find that these songs are still strangers to me. Its like picking up a decent looking pint only to drink it and find it tastes of nothing. It could be the avant garde Smashing Pumpkins approach, the spaghetti era Morricone musings, the Sonic Youth lite dabblings at one remove I thought I heard glimpses of Belgian outfit dEUS [although this was a long time ago your honour and I was very bored - wrings cap tightly in hands whilst walking backwards out of the room]. Maybe I just don’t get it any more. Ten years ago I’d have thought that Father Murphy were bold and edgy, a door to rooms full of other great sounding bands and now I think that they’re just an interesting sounding band, one of probably hundreds all with a song to sing and a story to tell. For all I know they could be grooving to this down the cat walks of Paris and Milan and New York but to these ears it just sounds, well, quirky. But if you like quirky and records recorded in churches where the strings twang and cymbals bosh and the singers sing in weird [English] voices then this may be the one for you.

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