Oxfords Kill Murray are a band happy to blaze their own trail, taking cues and ideas from a myriad of wide ranging influences, mixing them up and stamping their own identity on the resulting sound. Unusually for a band at their level they also manage to infuse each song with very different identities to each other, but still wind up with a collection that has an artistic cohesion to it.
Following on from the excellent “A Drug To Shake You Up” EP this recording commences with the impressive single “For The Kids”. A great blend of electronica, pumping beats and off-kilter guitars the cleverly written multiple strands of melodies show how accomplished the band have become, unafraid to combine a retro sounding electro-loop with the more indie / alternative sounds and vocals that hit some impressively high notes as well as containing some sweeping, melodic and downright anthemic passages. This sets the stall out nicely, as following it up is the smooth pop of “Terror”, a perky song that brilliantly just seems to slide into your ears without touching the sides and then ambles around your head in a billowing and somewhat tickly manner. Full of eighties synth-pop inspiration and with some judicious Brit-Pop appropriation, there is a lot of Suede rolling around this tune, which is something I am very happy to hear.
“Everything For Free” attempts to fill the space left by the demise of LCD Soundsystem. Although not quite reaching those heights it is nonetheless a driven, funky track with an uplifting, arms aloft chorus that invites you to join in with it, again nicely contrasted with the more effusive elements of the track. More familiar sonic ground is covered with the buzzy guitar led “Hotel Zoo”, with an early 90’s American-indie feel running through it that see’s it career along like a Buffalo Tom Record on Red Bull. Closing track on the EP proper is the moodier “Colours”, initially sounding like The XX if they had had a good night’s sleep and hearty breakfast before descending Beatles style into a wigged out noise-fest.
Bandcamp downloaders are then treated to 2 bonus tracks; “Pheromones” – a fun grungy, garage rock tune that is equal parts Mudhoney and The Pixies , and deserves credit for the lyric “pheromones make pharaohs moan” and a remix of “Everything For Free” which is relaxed, curious but ultimately doesn’t excite like the rest of this collection does.
I applaud Kill Murray. This is an impressively polished effort that shows a high level of comfort in what they do, as well as a blatant disregard for conventions and a total lack of fear to mix things up and try something that is a little different. Cementing their position as my favourite Oxford band this excellent EP should make them stand out from their peers and if there is any justice in the world ensure they don’t operate under the radar like this for long. Someone needs to wave a recording contract under their noses so we can have even more of this beautiful noise!
For links or to buy a CD or download of Microscopic Feel visit http://killmurray.bandcamp.com/