The Murdocks is a balls-to-the-wall concoction of Rancid-esque pop-punk energy with Shins-style delicate melodies. The Austin-based trio, led by singer/guitarist Franklin Morris, creates power-pop that alienates neither sweaty garage rockers sensitive basement-dwellers.

Brian Merlos
If David Spade had ever hit puberty. (Courtesy of Surprise Truck Entertainment)

“Playhouse Down” and “Sleepy Queen & Charlie Brown” display both Morris’s strained guttural vocals and his knack for catchy melodies. “Die Together” sounds like a track straight from Green Day’s Warning – a deadpan verse with a raucous yet morbid chorus of, “And when we die together / It feels like holding hands / Someday we’ll all be laughing cold and underground.”

The EP’s last two tracks, “Old Xylophone” and “Boy,” break from the mold. The former features – as you might have guessed – a xylophone and the latter is a six-minute-long ballad. Although the ballad is rather cliché, the xylophone works nicely to add an indie-pop feel to their aggressive sound.

Roar! is a promising EP from a band working hard to cultivate a unique sound without giving up hope of commercial success. Once you get past the frightening album cover, you’ll be in for a pleasant surprise.

“Roar!”

The Murdocks

Rating: 3 out of 5 stars

Surprise Truck Entertainment

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