I am a little late to the party on this one, as this debut EP for Murder Party was released in January, but it is still worth a review, even if it is a bit late. First off, Murder Party consists of Tommy Gun on vocals/guitar, Chubby McCarlson on bass/vocals, and last but not least, Chewie on drums/egg shaker. These Grand Rapids guys are not exactly new to the local music scene and it shows with their well-written music and quality recorded album made at Mercury Guitar Studio, also in Grand Rapids. The original album artwork by, Nicole Spess, is a fun and accurate reflection of these guys. It fits. And let us not forget that the album itself was released by the East Grand Recording Company. I love to see 100% homegrown music. It goes to show that great things can be done in our little city. Enough of that, on to the music.
Typically my first instinct when I listen to new music is one of two things: headache or curiosity. This EP is definitely in the curiosity category, which is good. I would not have repeatedly listened to the album if I could not get past the initial headache it sparked. Tommy Gun’s vocals are sharp and clear, and really lend themselves to this kind of music. The instrumental work has depth and could easily stand on its own, it is only improved by the addition of the vocals.
There is a catchy edge to the music that draws you in and keeps you there. The backing vocals on tracks like “I’ll Kill, I Swear” are just eerie and really add that serial killer vibe to it all. As their backstory is that they are three serial killers that created a band, it is a fitting vibe to have. While logic tells me that three serial killers working together is doomed from the start, perhaps making it as a band will give them something new to bond them and satisfy their bloodlust, and all the murders will just be what they do on the bad days. Or on tour. It has gotta be harder to find serial killers if they are on tour. Something to look into. Danger aside, it is a good listen and the live show should not be missed; it will get that energy flowing and the blood pumping, making beer taste all the sweeter, as you watch them perform on stage, safely in the crowd where no one will kill you. Just make sure your path home is well-lit and highly populated. Regardless, the risk is worth it to hear the Murder Party.