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Double Feature: Father Murphy – Anyway, your Children will Deny it + Split with How much Wood would a Woodchuck Chuck if a Woodchuck could Chuck Wood?

Anyway, your Children will Deny it

Anyway, your Children will Deny it

Dark, strange musical talents are seemingly in no short supply within the Mediterranean lands of Italy in the modern era.  Born just North of Venice in the Northeastern Italian city of Treviso, this trio of musicians — known simply as Father Murphy — manages to, through their outright odd industrial leanings, share many aesthetic qualities with their fellow art-minded countrymen, from the 70’s horror psych-synth texturing of Spettro Family to the cold and maddened emotional flux of Atrax Morgue; from the fleeting exoteric sophistication of Ennio Morricone to the esoteric spiritual whispers that come with their ritualistic style of compositional structure, and perhaps even a few sparse moments of abstract romanticism in the footsteps of Albireon. All of this lies beyond their geographical association with some of Europe’s finest and yet most underappreciated labels in the likes of Old Europa Cafe, Eibon, and Ars Benevola Mater.  And yet, at the risk of falling into the abyss of cliché avoidance, these words are only an attempt to categorize an otherwise largely uncategorizable project that firmly fits only into the term “post-industrial” for sake of their large repertoire of influences, all of which are boldly apparent throughout Anyway, your Children will Deny it.

“How we Ended up with Feelings of Guilt” opens Anyway, your Children… with an extremely minimal and nearly improvised approach.  Generic plucked guitar, simple percussion and opiate-influenced vocals (which will come to be a trademark style of the project) draw out the opening minutes of the LP into darkened psych corridors that are haunted by the influence of Father Murphy’s past thematic works, including the obvious interest in heresy that took hold around the …and he Told us to Turn to the Sun.  This improvisational opening eventually joins with a synth dirge to give the LP a much-needed rhythmic and melodic layer while simultaneously taking the atmosphere surrounding the opening song from pure psych ambient meanderings into an entirely new (and darker) territory through ominous pipe organ warmth.  Beyond this, the LP introduces a strange industrial break-down, first with the instrumental / electronic “His Face Showed no Distortions”, and then  through “It is Funny, it is Restful.  Both came Quickly” which featured a similar vocal approach that takes on a choppier, less purposeful and more chaotic character.

It’s at this moment that it becomes apparent that, even when the project has something to say (since one song is an instrumental and the lyrical value of three others amount to one sentence or less), the meaning of the song is often muddied behind tripped-out rambling and vague story-telling.  Much can be debated and assumed in regards to actual meanings of each song, but the understanding of those meanings are inevitably hidden.  “It is Funny…”, for example, seems to contain three fleeting chapters within its short existence, from the opening collapse of a figure in prayer to an animistic position to abrupt visions of goodbyes, finally ending in somewhat of a collapse of time, with gallows and electricity poles merging into one.  “Diggin’ the Bottom…”, Side A’s closing track, has much the same lyrical foundation through unspoken actualities though it exists in much more beautiful form, again utilizing a dirge approach that is all too reminiscent of The Moon Lay Hidden Beneath a Cloud meets Lycia meets Einsturzende Neubauten.

Father Murphy / HMWWAWCIAWCCW? Split

Father Murphy / HMWWAWCIAWCCW? Split

Side B continues this ascent into structure with “In Praise of our Doubts” which welcomes a bombastic, cinematic stringed effort that once again is eventually wrapped in depressive yet warm layers of organ dirge and layered hymns.  These tendencies only grow with time on the record, becoming increasingly more spiritually motivated in sound, with “Their Consciousness” becoming a mournful march into the solitude of accepting existence for what it is.  Sometimes pounding, sometimes droning, but always expressive, Father Murphy follow a literal path on Anyway, your Children… without being literal themselves; in the end, they manage to create a piece of music that is plagued with secrets, and perhaps, illusions.

The split is a different story from the full-length, featuring more of a post-punk flavor, especially through the morose, trudging effort by HMWWAWCIAWCCW, though, despite their reasoning, it feels impossible to take a project with such a name seriously to any degree, which may or may not be the point.  Regardless, all that is present with this track is a slow vocal and acoustic hallucination that is backed by either general ambience or field recordings processed through copious amounts of reverb.  Father Murphy’s side features a new face to their eclectic style of post-industrial gloom, this time electing the same type of dark folk and darkwave-influenced sound that was found on the track “Diggin’ the Bottom of the Hollow” — it is a sound that is, again, not unlike The Moon Lay Hidden Beneath a Cloud, yet it somehow also enters into a new territory that could be considered — largely because of the vocal performance — akin to the likes of Rhea’s Obsession and even the recent Rose Croix début.  Beautiful and intense, but it leaves one wondering why this style wouldn’t be more present within the full-length LP with so much industrial filler about in areas.

Track List:

Anyway, your Children will Deny it:
01) How we Ended up with Feelings of Guilt
02) His Face Showed No Distortions
03) It is Funny, it is Restful, Both came Quickly
04) Diggin’ the Bottom of the Hollow
05) In Praise of our Doubts
06) Their Consciousness
07) In the Flood with the Flood
08) Don’t let yourself be Hurt this Time

Rating: 4.25/5
Label: Aagoo Records / AGO043 / 12″ LP, CD, Digital Download
Post-Industrial / Psych / Darkwave / Dark Folk / Experimental

Split 7″:
A1) How much Wood would a Woodchuck Chuck if a Woodchuck could Chuck Wood? – Humpty Dumpty
B1) Father Murphy – Jesus

Rating: 3.25/5
Written by: Sage
Aagoo Records / AGO032 / 7″
Avant! / AV!014
Boring Machines / BM034
Brigadisco / BRG028
La Délirante / La dèlirante00
Madcap Collective / MDCP102
Darkwave / Experimental / Ethereal / Dark Folk