Review Summary: Incredible fun... just don't think about it much.
Is the new trend" Where do all these Garage-Psych-Pop bands from Australia get the same idea" All of these King Gizzards, Tame Impalas or Love of Diagrams of the world (or Oz to be exact). What is up with that" Well, the aforementioned Tame Impala and their unforeseen success might be to blame. They did blow up like nobody else in this style or place did, which could have prompted other similar acts to stand up straight and move forward as well. But that is as much as I can really say without doing much research. It is all really just a necessity for introducing the Murlocs, yet another Aussie Psychs.
Examining their music, you might notice that while the Murlocs definitely have some Psych influences, especially in the 60s and 70s Psych-Pop, but if it weren’t for the Lo-Fi production, you wouldn’t be able to properly define them as Psychedelic band. It’s more of a trippy Pop, I’d say. But it is a hell of a fun trip, whatever the definition.
Old Locomotive is a record full of sweetly catchy, melodically sporadic and playful tunes. It pretty much stays the same way from its opening track, until the very end. The gentle caresses of the light-hearted music and the vocals subtly crawling under your skin, it all contributes to the atmosphere of utmost tenderness and almost childish whimsy, slightly roughened, but also given a lot of charm by the distorted production.
Paradoxically, that delightful production can also serve as the album’s biggest misstep. Not everyone enjoys this much fuzz in their playfulness. Sure enough, the constant near-ear-piercing shrills of the play have a tendency to get a tad grating (like on the song "Snake in the Grass"), but all-in-all they do still hold their strength and engulf with frenzied kindness. That is, of course, if you manage to get used to it.
Old Locomotive isn’t an album that requires a lot of patience, it doesn’t offer challenging musical concepts, nor does it provide satisfaction for your lust for experimental obscurity. It is as straightforward and simple as it can get; full thirteen tracks of untethered fun with all the love and care for vintage styles of Psych-Pop, now slightly modernised. Do not expect an experience of the lifetime; expect an experience of the present for the present’s sake.