Album review by KevW
This article also appears on http://www.soundsxp.com
"It's not all madness and desolation in Father Murphyland." runs the press release, "The last two tracks are the band's most hopeful moments". This may well be the case, but both are still wrought with desolation; 'In The Flood, With The Flood' groans like a contorted, Satanist church service as reimagined in HP Lovecraft's worst nightmare; 'Don't Let Yourself Be Hurt This Time' pounds sluggishly through a series of industrial clangs with what sounds like a macabre pagan ritual being performed in the background. The only people likely to describe these as "hopeful moments" would probably describe the last These New Puritans album as a bit on the twee side.
Without turning to forced black metal, it's unlikely that you'll hear a more bleak example of sonic minimalism all year. Father Murphy don't really do 'songs', and they most likely found it quaint rather than disturbing that Scott Walker used animal carcasses as percussion instruments on a recent album. 'Anyway Your Children Will Deny It' isn't knowingly being obtuse, it's naturally obtuse, and it doesn't push boundaries, it simply doesn't have any. The thundering, creaking ending to 'How We Ended Up With Feelings Of Guilt' conjures up images of tortuous medieval ceremonies, yet this record doesn't fit a particular time and place. The painful, hammering toll of 'His Face Showed No Distortions' gives the feel of a distressing death in the overbearing heat and smokiness of the most horrid industrial revolution workhouse. 'It Is Funny, It Is Restful, Both Came Quickly' shudders and quakes and unsettles, defying comparison and classification.
The outlook remains similar throughout this staggeringly gloomy, individual and experimental record, despite the changing manner in which their message is drummed home. 'Anyway Your Children Will Deny It' is a fascinating, brave and challenging album. It won't make the ideal Valentine's Day gift (unless your other half resides in a cave and withers away in contact with direct sunlight), but if your DJ set is going down a little too well and you'd rather naff off home to bed, dropping in some Father Murphy should be just the tonic.
Father Murphy's website
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