Get Some ‘R&R’

Mureau play a style of music that’s familiar yet uncommon. They mix what I’ll call “djenty chug-core” along with hard rock choruses. Separately, these genres are extremely common. However, I’m hard pressed to think of many bands that sound like this. The first one that comes to mind is Bad News era Ligeia. For whatever reason, this is a style that hasn’t gained a lot of popularity, but Mureau are quite successful at executing it.

I was skeptical at first. The album title and cover were kind of bland and uninspired. I saw the music video and it seemed decent, if not a little bro-ish. I listened to the album, and it was okay, but nothing special. Then something strange happened. I listened to it again. And again. Soon it was all that I was listening to.

By the end of the video, one thing’s for certain: Hot girls do a really shitty job of washing vans.

Mureau, you sly dogs, you. Creators of catchy and accessible music. The music snob in me wanted to not like this, but I found myself not only listening to it, but enjoying it. They don’t push the limits of creativity or technicality, but what they do is create well-thought out and catchy tunes.

It’s a well-crafted album. The band always manages to keep it fresh and interesting and they’ve done something that I’ve found is rare these days: create an album with tracks that are individually recognizable. There are very few, if any, low points and this is due in large part due to the flow of the album. They include short instrumental interludes at the end of “Reflections,” “Vessel” and “Traits of the Abnormal” that lead right into the next track. As a result, I never find myself skipping ahead.

Variety is what makes this album great. You’ll hear really cool harmonized guitar leads, as well as heavy parts. There are literally times when I’m listening to the album that I have to stop whatever I’m doing and just headbang along. There are also chill melodic interludes like “The Fisherman’s Friend” and “Zombies” that provide a nice break from the action. The band has a great understanding of when to hit the listener with some heavy riffs, and when to back off with some softer sounds. You’ll even hear soloing, which is kind of rare in metal/hardcore these days.

“Intruders” exemplifies what this band does best. It starts out with a catchy and proggy sounding guitar riff. The rest of the band jumps in, and then they head right into a *surprise* catchy sing-along chorus. They alternate between the two, and gradually introduce and build upon new riffs, never straying too far from the original path. Then of course, they hit you with some heavy-ass chugging (2:59), only to leave you with the sweet sounds of the chorus at the end.

Mureau don’t try to reinvent the wheel, though their music is great to play while driving. It isn’t highbrow or deeply meaningful. It’s simply enjoyable, well-executed music.

Standout tracks:

“Brick X Brick,” “Traits of the Abnormal,” and “Reflections.”

About Randall Woo
Me, fail English? That's unpossible.

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