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Murky Red - Time Doesn't Matter CD (album) cover


Murky Red


Crossover Prog

3.55 | 15 ratings

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4 stars Belgium band MURKY RED was formed in 2010 by Stef Flaming, Yolanda Flaming and Tom Kockelmans, and for the next year or so a settled line-up slowly but surely crystallized after the often customary comings and goings of band members in a formative phase. As soon as they had cemented their line-up they hit the studio, and towards the end of 2012 their debut album "Time Doesn't Matter" was released through US indie label Melodic Revolution Records.

I'll readily admit that finding the suitable words to describe this production is a challenging task, and one that I might never really be able to truly master. This is due to the vast myriad of subtle influences these guys and gals pulls in from here, there and everywhere, the majority of which resides well inside the so-called classic rock universe in general and the 1970's section of this one in particular. A musical universe where I have limited exposure, while I'm pretty sure that most if not all band members of Murky Red know that part of the rock universe just about as well as their own trouser pockets. My small write-up is limited to what I'm familiar with myself, which will make my associations and observations a bit of a hit and miss affair. Just to get this to the table straight away.

In general I'd describe the style of this band as one that by and large is Pink Floyd influenced though. Dark, melancholic guitar textures combined with longing, light toned guitar soloing in warm, organic arrangements kind of makes comparisons of this kind a given. Subtle but clever use of keyboards emphasize this association, although in the case of Murky Red the cosmic inspired sounds are by and large missing. They do venture out into slightly psychedelic oriented waters at times though, but when doing so they come across as a band much closer to The Doors actually, but the deep-timbered vocals and distinct delivery of Stef Fleming just as much responsible for that association as the instrument part of the arrangements admittedly. Murky Red will also take on a harder edged expression at times, and on compositions such as Boots For Hire name-dropping Black Sabbath as a more than possible influence should be fairly safe. But this is a band and an album that first and foremost has a Floydian atmosphere to it.

What sets this band apart from many others exploring similar waters is the emphasis they have on the blues though. There's a firm emphasis on blues oriented musical details through and through, and by the string based instruments in particular. Gary Moore is mentioned as an influence by the band themselves, but it's tempting to throw in some Mark Knopfler and Chris Rea to that pool of names as well, the former perhaps more than the latter. One might say that Murky Red is a Pink Floyd inspired band that have opted to replace the cosmic instrument details with the blues. At least that is a description that I'm fairly comfortable with. I'll know soon enough what the band themselves feel about that one too I guess.

A last tiny bit of comparison to make is one that too me a while to recall. While I listened through this rather impressive debut by Murky Red, my aging brain cells kept sending signals to my mind to dig into my musical memories for a band with a similar although not directly comparable expression. The band in question is now defunct Norwegian outfit Madrugada, and specifically their debut album "Industrial Silence". A production that share many similar features to this initial creation of Murky Red, the dark and longing moods in particular. Without being directly comparable, but at least on an emotional and atmosphere level I suspect that fans of one will like the other as well.

My conclusion is that "Time Doesn't Matter" is a strong debut album that should have a wide appeal. Fans of late 70's Pink Floyd appears to be something of a key audience, especially those who tend to enjoy the darker side of this universally well known band and in particular if they also have a certain affection for the good, old blues. In addition I'd recommend fans of Norwegian band Madrugada to give this one a spin, and in particular those who find their first album to be the most intriguing of that band's release history.

Windhawk | 4/5 |


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