This Friday, September 16, Melbourne’s 60’s tinged psych-rock punks The Murlocs will release their brand new studio album Rapscallion via ATO Records. Strapped with fuzzy guitar licks, feverish bass and psychedelic brightness, it is a 12-track coming-of-age novel in an album form. Today, they share the final single from the collection, “Bellarine Ballerina,” alongside a music video created by Guy Tyzack.
On the video, frontman Ambrose Kenny-Smith shares, “Growing up on the Victorian surf coast, I’d often find myself hitching rides up and down the Bellarine Highway. ‘Rapscallion’ finds himself experiencing this for the first time, and is picked up by a Trucker that’s been behind the wheel for a little too long. Whilst being away on tour when it came time to shoot the video, our good friend and collaborator Guy Tyzack took this concept in a different direction by hiring actors and even Michael Jackson impersonators to capture the chaotic mayhem of the song.”
Tyzack shares, “’Bellarine Ballerina’ follows a hapless wannabe Ballerina, cast off to dirty street corners as no ballet school would have him. He spends all day busking, trying to impress passers-by, but to no avail… only to receive threats and the occasional beer can to the head. After a pathetic day of pirouettes on street corners, he catches the eye of a mysterious lady beckoning him into a red-lit underground tunnel. With nothing to lose, he follows her in, unbeknownst to him that a motley crew of sewer-dwelling street performers and celebrity impersonators have been watching him with a keen eye, ready to initiate him into their dangerous and secretive world, deep in the bowels of the city.”
The wildly squalid odyssey of Rapscallion populated by an outrageous cast of misfit characters — teenage vagabonds and small-time criminals, junkyard dwellers and truck-stop transients — is partly inspired by frontman Ambrose Kenny-Smith’s own adolescence as a nomadic skate kid. Their most magnificently heavy work yet, the result is an endlessly enthralling album equally steeped in danger and delirium and the wide-eyed romanticism of youth.
Self-produced by the band in the early stages of the pandemic, Rapscallion was recorded remotely in the home studios of Kenny-Smith (vocals, guitar, harmonica), Callum Shortal (guitar), Matt Blach (drums), Cook Craig (bass), and Tim Karmouche (keys). A truly dynamic musical collective, all five members also perform in other bands: Kenny-Smith and Craig each play in the globally beloved King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard, Shortal plays guitar in ORB, and Karmouche and Blach are frontmen for Crepes and Beans, respectively.
The album’s musical DNA contains strains of stoner-metal and the more primitive edge of post-punk. Despite that darker and more formidable sound, The Murlocs instill every track with the freewheeling energy they’ve brought to the stage while supporting such acts as Pixies, Stephen Malkmus and The Jicks, Ty Segall and Thee Oh Sees. Fans can experience the band’s outrageous live show on an extensive North American tour which kicks off at LEVITATION in Austin, TX and makes stops in NYC, Philadelphia, Seattle, LA, Chicago and more.
10/29: Austin, TX @ LEVITATION ^ Stubb’s Outdoor – Waller Creek Amphitheater 10/31: Oklahoma City, OK @ The Criterion # 11/2: Morrison, CO @ Red Rocks Amphitheatre # 11/7: Philadelphia, PA @ Underground Arts * 11/9: New York, NY @ Webster Hall * 11/10: Cambridge, MA @ The Sinclair * 11/11: Montreal, QC – Fairmount Theatre * 11/12: Toronto, ON @ The Axis Club * 11/14: Cleveland, OH @ Beachland Ballroom * 11/15: Chicago, IL @ Thalia Hall * 11/16: St. Paul, MN @ Turf Club * 11/17: Omaha, NE @ Reverb Lounge * 11/18: Denver, CO @ Bluebird Theater * 11/20: Boise, ID @ Neurolux * 11/22: Seattle, WA @ Neumos @ 11/23: Vancouver, BC @ Rickshaw Theatre @ 11/25: Portland, OR @ Star Theater @ 11/27: San Francisco, CA @ Great American Music Hall @ 11/28: Sacramento, CA @ Harlow’s @ 11/29: Santa Cruz, CA @ Moe’s @ 12/2: Los Angeles, CA @ Teragram Ballroom @
^ w/ King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard # w/ King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard, Leah Senior * w/ Paul Jacobs @ w/ Shannon Lay
1. Subsidiary 2. Bellarine Ballerina 3. Living Under a Rock 4. Bobbing And Weaving 5. Farewell To Clemency 6. Compos Mentis 7. The Royal Vagabond 8. Virgin Criminal 9. Bowlegged Beautiful 10. Wickr Man 11. The Ballad Of Peggy Mae 12. Growing Pains