It took a few detours and roundabouts for Murdocks to find their sound, but when they ripped open the Turtles' "Happy Together" at Ruta Maya's 1967 Hoot Happening in 2007, the green light flashed. Pop – not necessarily of the 1960s variety – is where the local trio hangs its hat, and sophomore LP Distortionist finds guitarist Franklin Morris stretching his heartache growl over 15 taut, sing-song melodies. "Spirit of 95," "Die Together," and "Playhouse Down," from their 2008 EP Roar!, get polished as proof that their creators have long had an eye for anthemic detail. The new "Infinite Pansy" has an easy way with power-punk hooks. Recordingwise, Distortionist sounds fantastic, Murdocks full of energy right up until closer "Widower." They get in and out in less than 45 minutes; the only problem is that at 15 cuts, differentiating becomes difficult.
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