Murder 1

Murder 1

On High

The Music Cartel

The guys in Murder 1 have names like Iceberg, Bram Phetamine and Boy Toy, while bassist Job The Raver is also credited with handling “backwards masking” duties. Ho-hum. Musically, though, Murder 1 aren’t kidding around, playing dark, gloomy psych rock in the vein of classic Black Sabbath and, as suggested by a somewhat plodding version of “Rock Bottom,” Schenker-era UFO. “White Horse Trail” is a groovy sludge track, and “Pimp Killer” abounds with Jon Lord moments on the keys.

On High delivers on the promise of grand hard rock pomposity, the songwriting isn’t exactly of the daring kind, and the album inevitably gets a bit too introverted and repetitious as it thumps along. Plus, Ozzy wouldn’t be caught dead doing the abysmal casual-noise thing that Murder 1 scramble together for “Hudson County Probation Blues.” All this, however, is just about forgiven and forgotten with the arrival of “The Raver, The Naga and the Holy Spirit,” a long, dark and grueling track that sums up everything that was fine about hard psych rock in the beginning, proving that there is still hope for the survival of this doomed [sic] genre.

The Music Cartel:

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