The five skinny kids of soulful garage rock band The Murlocs have of course shown before that they can write great songs, but on their fifth album Bittersweet Demons – out now digitally and on vinyl LP through ATO Records – they prove that again. As you’ll read in every other review, the members of the Melbourne-based band – Ambrose Kenny-Smith (lead vocals / guitar / harmonica), Callum Shortal (guitar), Matt Blach (drums), Cook Craig (bass), and Tim Karmouche (keys) – play also in other well-known bands, but here they rise above themselves. The new record contains a collection of more personal songs, written mostly on piano, reflecting on the people who leave a profound imprint on their lives, the saviors and hell-raisers, and assorted other mystifying characters. Album opener Francesca (an ode to the frontman’s mother) and the title track (it might look like others have got everything figured out, but there’s always those underlying demons that no one realizes) are the obvious hits, but the bluesy rock ballad Skewiff is my absolute favourite, and not just because the title is such a beautiful word: that melody! that harmonica! those lyrics! that emotion! – goosebumps on repeat.
“If it ain’t quite working out // Then maybe it ain’t worth it now // If it feels a little skew-whiff now // A little off balance // You gotta put yourself in their shoes”
Bonus: Check out the official music videos released so far.