Father Murphy

...And He Told Us to Turn to the Sun

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The Italian rock renaissance of the 21st century -- at least in some corners -- continues with the work of Father Murphy, as aggressively outré as early Jennifer Gentle, say, but with their own distinct style, twisted stop-start chants and clatter instead of bizarrely winsome sparkles. On their short but remarkably atmospheric and mysterious sophomore album, ...And He Told Us to Turn to the Sun, there are also murky drones aplenty -- the way the feedback swells and then cuts off at points on "I Sob, No More Rage" adds sudden drama throughout -- plus lyrics that seem less to be readily understood than cryptically sensed, mixed into the music and heard around the notes as strange, strained whispers or invocations, only occasionally clearer here and there. On "I Ran Out of Fuel and a Viper Just Bit Me," the suddenly strident then silent keyboards feel like a church service for something other than an orthodox religion (though the combination of gongs and steady chanting on "So Now You Have to Choose Between My Two [Black] Lungs" might suggest otherwise). Fading out with an extended track possibly even more strangely unfamiliar than most of the album that preceded it, ...And He Told Us to Turn to the Sun clearly shows that Father Murphy are well on their way to establishing their own solid reputation for an intriguing listen.

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