Monday, June 05, 2006

Murder Mystery

S/T (E.P.)
It was bound to happen. After five or six years of 50 million bands raping the dead and bloated corpses of Joy Division and Gang of Four, it was time for the vultures to move on. It became even clearer once Gang of Four started cannibalizing its own corpse that it was time to find some fresher meat. The fresher meat I speak of is the work of the early 1990’s holy trinity of Sebadoh, Pavement and Polvo.

The Detroit band Murder Mystery (they take their rather clunky name from a Velvet Underground song), have been gladly engorging themselves on the sounds of the halcyon days of the early 1990’s. They have taken those influences to produce a quite pleasing mix. Their music is pretty simple and direct, much like the music of that earlier era. There is no 21st century digital fuckery to be found on this disc, which is quite refreshing. It was recorded by Robert Blum Detroit Sounds Studios.

The one thing that is missing from this homage is the genuine angst of the original artists. The biggest crisis of the disc is that the singer, Adam Leroy, hopes to catch a ride in the song “Going to the Store.” The music itself is great (except maybe for the silly break down in the song). The only other complaint on an otherwise enjoyable disc is that the drummer, Jean-Phillipe Saulneir, hits his cymbals way too much. It might just be a matter of it being too high in the mix or my own fucked up personal taste.

I am sure that Murder Mystery would be a blast to see live. Their motto is “Jamming Indy Rock,” which is quite charming. This band shows a ton of promise. Their early 1990’s revivalism is pretty much fucking spot on. With a little work on more personal songwriting and attempt to find their own individual sound (not that they can’t borrow/ steal from others), I see a possibility that in the future Murder Mystery can make truly great music. This disc is not a bad start.
Detroit Sounds Records) (Dan Cohoon)