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Mayday Murders

Mayday Murders
Self-Titled EP
(Fire Records)

This is one of those releases that absolutely makes me wonder if there is truly some sort of conspiracy that I don't know about. On one hand, it's released on what I feel is one of the more under-rated labels out of the UK today (Fire Records), but on the other hand, this 5 track EP bores me to tears. It's yet another in the long line of lo-fi, Stooges/Stones influences garage rock that is flooding the record stores from here to Helsinki, but it adds absolutely nothing to the already bloated genre.

The press release states that the tracks were recorded early one wet winter morning in only a few hours on the bands 4 track, but I don't know that it's something to be excited about on this disc. Whereas that could possibly be a recipe for something stunning and sleep-deprived from some, this feels like a poorly-recorded, jangling mess of tracks with hardly anything to salvage them. "Don't Wanna Know" opens the disc with just under two minutes of drunken-sounding caterwauling over fuzzy guitar and bass and over-compressed drums. The hooks don't hook and it just sort of sounds like the kids across the street banging away in their garage after having just discovered that amps go up to 10.

"The Outcome" obviously has a hankering for the Velvet Underground, and even though the lines are traced, it comes off as one of the best tracks on the album despite the uber-gritty recording. Based on this single track, I still have hope for the group, but then "Sonic Vendetta" comes along and wipes a lot of that away with more riffs that sound like they were redrawn from Strokes discarded tracks. The aptly titled "Shut Down" takes things down a notch, and again gives one a bit of hope for the group as they work a sort of warm Teenage Fanclub feel.

While there are glimmers of hope on the disc, it's barely enough to keep me hanging on and wondering what they'll do with their next release (which is one of the main goals of an EP). The group definitely has some charm, but the edges are so rough that it's almost hard to get passed them (and this is coming from someone who likes scratchy recordings by The Oldham Brothers/etc). I still think Fire Records is keen, and Mayday Murders may surprise me in the future, but this EP is one to steer clear of.

Rating: 3.5