Loopholes has been years in the works for The Murlocs. The forthcoming release from the surf-coast garage outfit will follow about three years of existence as a band, two EPs, and one major hiccup during its production stage; seeing most of the recorded tracks lost to a car robber. On the brink of the album’s release, frontman Ambrose Kenny-Smith took us through the long and tumultuous birthing of their first full-length album; a feat he rather understandably describes as resulting in him “never want[ing] to hear the album again.”

“It’s all a pretty similar vibe – the same sort of blues garage stuff we normally do, but I guess there’s more of a psychedelic element at times” he says of Loopholes. What he says is made evident by tracks such as ‘Space Cadet’ and ‘Rattle the Chain’, which maintain the brash garage spike of The Murlocs’ previous releases, while the album’s newest single Paranoid Joy conveys what Kenny-Smith describes as a “more mellow” shift in their sound; his token rasp soaring over a steady, fuzzy blues stomp throughout. Kenny-Smith’s reasoning for the slowing of pace is simple – attributing the songs that weren’t written by guitarist Karl Shortal to his own “pussy attempts at picking up a guitar and seeing what happens.”

More recently, the album’s release was delayed drastically by the theft of Stu Mackenzie’s laptop. Mackenzie; a bandmate to Kenny-Smith and fellow Murlocs’ member Cook Craig in King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard, produced nearly all of Loopholes and had most of the album on his computer when it was stolen from his car in Carlton last year. Despite this being a particularly “frustrating” setback, Kenny-Smith does not see it as having altered the album’s sound to a significant degree. He instead suggests that if anything, the theft served as an opportunity for them to refine some of their lost songs, commenting “a couple of arrangements in the songs were changed – but for the better anyway!”

“Stu’s got a pretty good setup now and we recorded the last two Gizzard records with him… it works for the sound of music that we all do. I think we’ve all learned over the years playing in bands as teenagers, you know, getting ripped off by studios and whatnot isn’t worth it” he says of recording with Mackenzie, describing him as “the best person we’ve ever worked with.” The album’s first single, ‘Rattle The Chain,’ was recorded by producer Paul Maybury prior to the other tracks being made; this being the reason it was released a whole year before the album. Kenny-Smith explains that despite its early release date, ‘Rattle The Chain’ was always intended to be on Loopholes – with the album itself initially set to be released far earlier than now:

“We easily neglected [Loopholes] because we were not too serious, cos yeah, we’re a group of dudes and we all like to stuff around and not take things too seriously, which obviously tends to backfire!… Things just keep popping up, especially being in Gizzard. And everyone else has different things they’ve got to attend to.”

And that’s why this time around, The Murlocs intend to approach recording more actively. Kenny-Smith says that making another album is within their plans for 2014 following King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard’s return from America in July. On the means by which their next album will be recorded, he laughingly explains that little will change besides the usage of an additional hard drive, saying “we’re keen to keep recording with Stu… but now we’re going to back it up every time, I reckon!”

Until then, The Murlocs will tour Loopholes up and down the east coast this month. The album will (this time definitely) be released on April 17th; the same day they begin the tour. Listen to ‘Paranoid Joy’ below.


The Murlocs Loopholes Tour Dates:

Thursday April 17th

Blackbear Lodge, Brisbane

w/ Babe Rainbow & Junkyard Diamonds

Tickets: http://bit.ly/1jHVyAb


Saturday April 19th

Factory Floor, Sydney

w/ Spirit Valley & The Friendsters

Tickets: http://bit.ly/1mOntRR


Friday April 25th

Howler, Melbourne

w/ Teeth & Tongue, The Frowning Clouds, DD Dumbo

Tickets: http://bit.ly/1kwCyD8