Murphy’s Kids – The Anthemic Pandemic
3.) Dusty Trail
4.) On Leaving
5.) High School With Cigarettes
6.) Low Point
9.) Size it Up
10.) Best Revenge
11.) World With No Imagination
The Pier Album Rating:
Release Date: November 4th, 2011
View Website: Murphy’s Kids Website
In the summer of ’99 Murphy’s kids sprouted from the suburbs of Midlothian, Virginia. After years of changes and additions, the group is now comprised of six members who excel at meshing layers of Ska and punk, or self-proclaimed SkaFunkRastaPunk. After years of touring and performing at bars and dance halls along the east coast and at home, it is obvious that Murphy’s Kid’s intense but captivating stage presence showcases the epitome of their musical methods and attitudes.
Murphy’s Kids’ newest album full-heartedly encompasses the modern genres of punk rock and ska with contemporary west coast reggae undertones. The punk influences are the most ubiquitous though. High-frequency distortion highlights each progression, while a strategically-positioned brass section compliments each transition, plus some.
Lead-singer John Charlet’s voice is nothing less than expected from a punk band. I found the name Murphy’s Kids to be somewhat ironic in a sense that they sound like the child of the Irish punk sensations Dropkick Murphy’s. The guitar work is parallel between the two, the difference blatantly put is the Ska element versus the Irish element. Charlet’s voice fluctuates from clear to disgruntled throughout the record. The lyrics match the energy level of what punk rock legends have presented in the somewhat fresh lifespan of the genre. In songs such as “Low Point” and “Size It Up”, I thought I was listening to the grunty voice of Mike McColgan, lead singer of Dropkick Murphy’s.
The album rings in with a rapturous brass and guitar lick with “Spark”. The song is from head-to-toe dosed in metaphors that demonstrate cause and effect situations or as the title suggests, an event that sparks a different state of affairs. A frisky solo on the guitar was a great compliment to the already stirred atmosphere. “High School With Cigarettes” has a similar vibe, and yet again suggests that Murphy’s kids placed higher emphasis on creating a solid punk record, over reggae.
At the other perimeter of the intensity measure are songs like “On Leaving”, my favorite on The Anthemic Pandemic. Each instrument has an exclusive rhythmic sequence. A double skank rhythm is established by the electric keys, while the drums place heavier emphasis on the hi-hats; always a nice touch. The refrain is also aesthetically pleasing to the ears as Charlet’s sings first person to his love: “You, You’re like a dream, and I can’t bring myself to take you back.”
In its entirety, Murphy’s Kids The Anthemic Pandemic is a decent punk and ska album. There are segments where Charlet’s voice doesn’t quite fit. But to contest that observation songs such as “On Leaving”, “Spark,” and “Size It Up” in which the melodies and lyrics go hand-in-hand.
Written & Reviewed by: Matt Emodi
[Editors Note: All reviews are reflective of the album in it’s entirety, from start to finish. These reviews are the honest opinion of each writer/reviewer, expressing their feedback as a genuine fan of the music. Each star rating reflects their review of the album, not the band. Music is subjective. Regardless of the review or star rating, we encourage you to listen to the music yourself & form your own opinion. Spread the awareness of all music in its art & contribution]