Totally Wired Records) is fucking mad but in that mad genius sort of way. Daniel Murena and his band of wierdos (and I mean that in with the utmost respect) are hubbed out of Munich / Austria (I believe) and call their style horror soul. I am not sure if I get that descriptor but the songs on this album feel like some kind of musical expressionism that gleams styles from many genres. They, in fact, feel less like songs than strange fever dreams.
However you want to describe them and this album I will say that it can be polarizing. Murena Murena kind of swing for the fences when it comes to their songs (are they even songs?) and (for me) they are trippy creative catalysts. Let me describe the experience of listening to this record like this. Imagine if you will that you are in a horrible car crash. You wake up bruised and battered next to the wreckage as rescue workers are attending to you. As you come to and your head swims up back to consciousness pain overtakes you as you see your legs are horribly mangled. You writhe in pain and scream as the ambulance tech is pressing a needle into you flooding you with morphine to dull the pain.
Some of the songs feel like a creative car crash, some feel like the prick of that needle and some feel like the blissful burn and calm of that morphine streaming into your blood stream. Yeah, I know this is a weird description but no weirder than some of the stuff on "Shame Over" AND let me state this perfectly clear, I am having mad love for this album. Even the songs I don't get I deeply appreciate because I hate safe music and this my friends is not safe music. Let's for a moment talk about some of the high moments, the morphine high moments on this record.
Lovely Homes feels like a marching ballad. Murena is a story teller and this song almost feels like Nick Cave and the Talking Heads in the way it transports you into normal places that feel absolutely not normal. I love the sense of dread and dysfunction and the cinematic tone.
Le Van's Wife tells the true story of Le Van, a Vietnamese man who mourned for his wife in an unusual way. Sleeping on her grave, then tunneling into the grave and eventually digging her up so he could sleep with her corpse. This twisted tale of never ending love is perfect for Murena. The sounds of the guitars, distorted vocals creates a fun house mirror tone. The song moves so well. It feels like cabaret creepy punk, awwww.... horror soul. I get it.
Peace (one of my fav songs on this album) is a spaghetti western of a song viewed through the bent prism of a broken beer bottle. It is blurry around the edges. The drums clank like an industrial machine in a David Lynch flick. It feels a bit sinister, it feels like a dream. It feels like a drive through a desert sandstorm to an unknown place.
Shy Goose is clearly the most dance trackish song on the album. In a weird way, it feel like a dark dark disco kind of liberation song you might hear in a gay European bar. Don't ask me how I know this. I love how the song arcs in so many different directions. It happily veers into a kind of 50's sock hop love ballad "you done me wrong" territory. Amazing song.
Tu Tu is like early Bowie meets T-Rex glam. It put a giant smile on my face. It is olive oil in your hair with glitter blasted onto it. Fun shit. Such fun shit.
The strange Fossil Fuel feels like science fiction and the maybe even stranger Fossil Fuel 2 plays like a 50's Western Ballad in a holly rollers church in some future post apocalyptic world. A surreal snarky and most likely sardonic social commentary. Wow.
Drag Race. What can I say. I kinda hate it. I kinda love it.
Some of the other songs careen into Ska (Dancing Naked) or electronica dark wave (War Drugs). The majority of the songs I truly love experiencing and a few I am still trying to let sink in. That is the sign of a great album to me. I like artists that push me around and dare me to delve into unknown territories and Murena Murena does this. They can call what they do horror soul, pop noir, comic strip rock or whatever they want. I might call them dark art rock. I applaud this record for being like no other. Murena Murena's dark abstract visions feels like emotional exorcisms that are simply manifested musically. It feels like those visions could erupt in literature or film or paintings as well. They feel that artistically wrought and I like that.
Check out the Official Video for Le Van's Wife below (and more).
MURENA MURENA - Le Van's Wife from Tobias Yves Zintel on Vimeo.