Murder F.M. – Happily Never After (Album Review)

The band Murder F.M. comes onto the Rock scene from Dallas, Texas, and along with them they take a tremendous amount of buzz. Formed in 2009, the band has released two EPs including 2009’s Anthem for the Used, 2010’s Patchwork Promises, along with two singles, 2011’s The Br3aking, and 2013’s We the Evil prior to signing a deal with Famous Records Global/Pavement. In their six years as a band, they have done extensive touring, making a name for themselves in the U.S. as well as Europe, and gaining a hardcore following of fans while sharing stages with the likes of Powerman 5000, The Defiled, Wednesday 13, Korn, in addition to Rob Zombie, to name just a few.

Made-up of Norman Matthew on vocals/guitar/programming, Matt X3ro on guitar, bassist J6, and most recently joining the fold, as of 2014, former Wednesday 13 drummer Jason “Shakes” West behind the cymbals and snares, Murder F.M. are ready to explode in a big way with the forthcoming release of their debut album Happily Never After due out August 7th. Produced by Matthew, out of the Sound Foundation studio which he owns, the album was mastered and mixed by legendary producer Beau Hill, who has worked behind the production board with such acts as Ratt, Europe, Warrant, and Alice Cooper.

Happily Never After opens up in impressive fashion with “Legion,” a fist-pumping song that gets the concert attendee into the band and their live show from the get-go. The pounding of the drums is the introduction to Murder F.M., but this track definitely opens the ears and eyes of the person pressing the play button, and grabbing the listener energetically. Complemented by a synthesized musical base with a heavy drum influence throughout the verses of this song, perfectly meshed is Matthew’s vocals, which are dark, and slowly wicked, but ultimately positive.

Next up is “We the Evil” a song they released two years ago as an anthem for the band and their mass amount of followers. The song is not altered much from the 2013 recording with the exception of some touch-ups on the overall sound with added reverb. The last song on the album, also “We the Evil” is a remix of the song by Mötley Crüe’s skin-basher Tommy Lee. Lee adds the techno sounds and beats to this track. The original music is wiped away, and it goes rave/nightclub techno with Matthew’s vocals in between. The outcome is very well done. Not like an average remix, as not many music fans are fond of remixes where it sounds absolutely nothing like the original track; which is sort of the purpose of a remix, and is overshadowed by a 360-degree change. They kept this one pretty damn rockin’, an awesome way to end this eleven-track album.

Moving along, the third track, “Last Breath,” is one that lets the listeners move their heads, but the tempo slows down a notch, with a very melodic chorus that may remind the listeners of a piece that could have been recorded in the ’80s; music with a rhythmical aura. The heaviest track comes next with “Machine Gun Kisses.” It immediately stands out as an energy pumper when the song starts, Matthew yelling out, “MACHINE GUN KISSES!” A fast-paced track, the guitar, bass, drums are going full-on tenfold, sounding like a machine gun being shot. A killing, moshpit starter when the band hits the road and performs it in front of an audience of rowdy metalheads wanting the rock!! “Machine Gun Kisses” was also a feature on Rock Band 3 for Xbox in 2011.  The song “Burn” is a major highlight on Happily Never After as Murder F.M. bring back a classic, recording a twenty-one-year-old ago by Alternative legends, The Cure. Murder F.M.’s rendition keeps the feel and tempo of the way it was originally recorded, but also stays original to themselves musically. It would almost certainly make Robert Smith proud, and the fans of The Cure would appreciate it, honoring as it does that band’s thirty-eight-year legacy.

Coming to the end, “Happily Never After” is the title track of the album and placed at number nine. This one, along with “Rainy Day Parade,” shows off the band’s ballad-;like skills, slowing down the pace, with the whole album otherwise, being guitar driven, fast, and hard-hitting tunes. They take a break, throw the listener a curve ball with these next two tracks, and give their necks a break from all the head-banging they might have done throughout the whole beginning of the album.

The guys in Murder F.M. are about to release an album of solidly written tunes, and, musically, they are ace. It is a  mature album that they held back from releasing for a little while before unleashing it to the music world. Much better than good, this album is an exceptional, first, full-length album release. If wanting to make a lasting first impression on the music/Rock world, this album is a great example, and that world is ready for an album like Happily Never After, and the guys in the Murder F.M., are about to go real far. CrypticRock gives this album 4.5 out of 5 stars.

murder fm
Famous Records Global/Pavement

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