A year ago, Falmouth was hit by a wave of media hype and attention. NME features and documentaries surrounded the sophomore and debut releases from bands such as The Black Tambourines and Lost Dawn; reaching out and grabbing the spotlight of music journalism and making it shine lustrously over what was happening in the unassuming Cornish fishing village.
The light which was cast over the town picked up upon a booming diversity of music, ranging from the shambolic clatter and carnal manoeuvring from the garage milieu, as well as the rise of a counter culture comprised of a rapt and experimental philosophy -Sleep Cycles, The Shipping Forecast and Olive Haigh to name check just a few. Now that the wave has washed over and the scene is drying itself off from the wider exposure it soaked in, how has the landscape of Falmouth changed, and what has it done to keep up its contrasted reputation it was discovered for?
“The Gazorpos part of the name comes from a word Ryan uses,” explains Charlie Murphy when being asked about the name of his new project, Murph and The Gazorpos. Charlie is, of course, the lead singer and guitarist of The Red Cords, and he is relating a conversation that him and the bands bass player, Ryan Cleave, had which gave birth to the new solo projects title. Being released on the freshly founded Falmouth Label Nerve Centre Records, Murph and The Gazorpos ‘All Night’ EP is a direct counterpoint to the potent punk din that’s churned out by The Red Cords. “I think its pretty different from The Red Cords,” Charlie discloses, “They aren’t songs I would use for The Red Cords, Rys isn’t so keen on the more pop side of things.” The latter part of that sentence describes perfectly the tilt that’s placed upon the four songs that make up the new EP; quirky, angular and eccentric garage tunes, lathered in a pop appeal.
Opener ‘Stay All Night (If You Want To)’ is the first taste of this formula and dives straight in to a template of scatty rhythms and rousing melodies, providing a relentless and angular background as Charlie howls out the surprisingly melancholy lyrics. Highlight track ‘At The Station’ changes the motion of the record slightly, taking a breath from the jittering speed of what’s just passed, but still retaining motion and feeling like a slow ballad that’s meant to be played at 33 ½ rpm on a turntable, but instead is set to 45. Closing track ‘No Reply’ whips the velocity up again into a frantic and pushed rhythm, but still upholds the doleful undertone that’s run throughout the lyrics for the duration of the EP.
The records ying/yang type nature is where a lot of this extended play’s appeal is derived. In parts it could equally be played on a set of speakers in the background of a sunny day due to it’s cheerful and camouflaged pop aesthetic, but also, subversively, retains a sense of substance and reliability in the lyrics which sometimes lacks in the ‘nothing but a good time’ mantra that’s commonly displayed in garage music. ‘All Night’ is certainly another finely crafted slab of garage cacophony to come out of Falmouth, but give it a few listens and you may find that the songwriting is more honest and down to earth than what you would previously first expect.
Murph & The Gazorpos’ ‘All Night’ EP is now available on limited edition cassette tape & zine, along with the already released Digital download, from Nerve Centre Records.