It would seem that the cult of King Gizz is reaching the boiling point these days. Still wondering how they’re gonna make that five album deadline at this point but, hell, why not throw in a side project or two while you’re at it? The band’s Ambrose Kenny-Smith will likely never fully extract himself and The Murlocs from under the yoke of his banner band, but they’re doing their best to carve out a little space of their own. Old Locamotive expands on the garage-blooze spiral that’s swirled out of The Murlocs speakers since before 2014’s Loopholes. This time it’s just a touch cleaner and snug down into a pocket of groove that feels nicely worn, like cracked leather.
The record is skewing towards the mellow, still packed with a swamp-thick punch of guitar, but not blowing as hot and frantic as the Jason Galea artwork on the cover would suggest. Kenny-Smith has always been a sucker for the blues half of that garage equation, and he plays it up like a harp man keeping his brand fresh. More often than not he can work the organ and harmonica strewn tracks into a decent romp, but there are the occasional drags. The highlights hit pretty hard, though, and when he tears into a track like “Snake In The Grass” its hard not to crack a smile. All told, this is the most consistent The Murlocs have sounded yet, and whether its studio bleed over from King Gizz or a wellspring of the band’s cohesiveness, he’s molded this into a decent volley from Flightless’ second string.
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