4 out of 5
Label: Spun Out of Control
Produced By: Alan Sinclair
Even without the write-up from Alan Sinclair – aka Repeated Viewing – on Murdercoaster’s bandcamp page, it’s all rather clear from the artwork, the track names, and the shriek and synth beat that opens up the album that fun is the m.o. here. Not that that’s been far away from any RV release, with the whole concept based around imagined horror movie soundtracks, but I do think Sinclair has proven how deep he can go, conceptually, structuring narratives and conjuring easily pictured “scenes” from his illustrative music, and Murdercoaster is a much lighter touch. It’s definitely not goofy or outright kitsch, but it’s as B- as we can get, and leans heavily into its catchy beats and circus-music / 80s-glittery vibe, making this all very accessible. And yet, it’s still identifiably Sinclair, never satisfied with just hitting his marks and letting it roll: a track like ‘Fun of the Flayer’ starts out as sort of a boppy romance track (teens necking on a carnival ride, say) before some elements creep in to remind us we’re in a horror movie; ‘This Ain’t Candyfloss’ is a flash of less than two minutes, compared to most 5+ minute tracks, but still contains much in terms of mood and layering.
That said, these are somewhat separate “stories” versus linear tale, and the way we jump between some relative extremes of fun and spooky tunes is suggestive of some songs just being named a certain way because they’re funny – e.g. Love Canal of Blood – and then things are also a bit confused on this front with some sub-60 second interstitial tracks piling up before the grooving (if moderately repetitive) conclusion – Exit Via the Gift Chop; that is, Murdercoaster doesn’t quite make the cut as an album of singles, but also clearly isn’t meant to be a wholly immersive experience.
But it does also surely meet that m.o. of being fun, and meets that mark on – as per the artist’s name – many repeat visits.