More fondly known as ‘Uncle Murl’, The Murlocs’ delivery of Manic Candid Episode presents an arrangement of tracks that remain familiarly within the realm of their signature psychedelic fuzz rock while stressing the band’s development and increasing complexity.
Opening track ‘Problematic Subject’ kicks the album off to a driving start, laden with the blues structured rhythms and garage guitar typical of The Murlocs, overlayed by the renowned harmonica and instantly recognisable voice of Ambrose Kenny-Smith.
Softening with melodic vocals is ‘Withstand’, which naturally flows into ‘Manic Candid Episode’. Despite being the title song, it isn’t the stand out track of the album; though it does serve up a sizzling hot, fuzzed out guitar solo.
Midway through the album, ‘Comfort Zone’ creates an alluring contrast as The Murlocs ease us into an undulating lull with the introduction of an organ adding a greater textual element. The song emits sensitivity and vulnerability as Kenny-Smith explores insecurities and inner turmoil. ‘Catch 22’ is another honeyed, slower track and a notable highlight, while ‘The Bigger Picture’ could belong on any Murlocs album.
‘Samsara Maya’ winds through an experimental direction, another indication that the band is reaching out to more expansive influences. Rounding out to a strong conclusion, ‘What If?’ and ‘My Compromise’ provide one last dose of the garage psych-rock with which The Murlocs have made their mark.