Header photo by Jamie Wdziekonski
By: Sun Noor
Following the much anticipated release of their newest singles “Comfort Zone” and “Withstand,” the Australian-based five piece made their return with the release of their fourth studio album via Flightless and ATO Records today. The record consists of a 40 minute whirlwind of emotions, given its various turns. Nevertheless, Manic Candid Episode remains as consistent as the outfits previous works.
Not only does this project contain production contributions from fellow King Gizzard and The Lizard Wizard front man, Stu Mackenzie but also features musician Jarvis Taveniere who was previously worked with artists such as Parquet Courts and Real Estate, as a mixer.
If the album title and track list do not appear as evident enough, frontman Ambrose Kenny-Smith’s lyricism demonstrates plenty of interesting word play, and metaphors which compliments this number’s pleasantly overdramatic tone. His lyrics also take more of a singer-songwriter approach as the tracks often serve as stories. In fact, Manic Candid Episode is quite a self-reflective number, exploring various emotions throughout each track. “And it’s my anxious irrelevance, I’m saddened by what I represent,” Kenny-Smith sings in the opening track “Problem Subject,” which is one of the more frantic numbers.
Similar to their previous works, instrumental portion of Manic Candid Episode is quite genre-defying as elements of blues rock, soul and garage rock appear to be embedded together, creating quite the idiosyncratic sound. However, the band appeared to have minimized the use of special effects as the arrangements sound much more sharper and Kenny-Smiths vocals remain prominent. The record commences with a hypnotic buzz building up to the layered, melodic sound that shapes “Problem Subject.” The heavy, distorted guitar riffs that compliment the harmonica solo and percussion as well as Kenny-Smith’s soulful vocals. As well, exist plenty of contrasting textures within the first and second half of the album as the latter consists of slower numbers and ballads. Tracks such as “Manic Candid Episode” and “Spun Gun” are quite the bluesy guitar-heavy tracks but include elements from the keyboard during the quieter parts of the songs. Whereas, “Comfort Zone” is much more slower and “Samsara Maya” has an almost-acoustic appeal. The record then builds back up for the final tracks slams culminates with “My Compromise” which is much more noisy and energetic in terms of the arrangements which compliment the soulful vocals.
Stream Manic Candid Episode below:
The Murlocs are due to kick off their first headlining North American tour at the Teragram Ballroom in Los Angeles on April 6th and will make a stop at Montreal’s Bar le Ritz before making their way towards Atlanta in order to play this year’s edition of Shaky Knees Festival. The outfit will also return to Australia to play a handful to dates this summer. Click here to purchase tickets to all upcoming tour dates.
Watch the video for “Withstand” below: