Survival – Murkin Hella Fools

Rating: 1.5/5
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Released: 2018
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Band Line-up:

Nick Noro-Guitar/Vocals
Roland Sayn-Guitar
Mike Tappero-Drums
George Lallian-Bass


1. Heart
2. Still Care
3. Blood Dope
4. Demi
5. Buried in Time
6. At Dawn
7. Flames
8. Fallen
9. Havok (Demo)
10. Choke (Demo)
11. Demi (Demo)


‘Murkin Hella Fools’ is an 8 track, experimental post thrash album by the Bay Area band Survival. It also has three extra demo songs. The LP is from the mind of the prolific Nick Noro and is filled with jagged riffs, synth samples and primal screams.

When these people say they’re experimental, they really do mean it. Their opening song ‘Heart’, for example features 70s rock’n’roll riffs and partially-shouted vocals without tunes. Weird effects are added to another creepy sounding ‘singer’ in the background. It seems Molly Hatchet have gone extreme and trippy. While the guitar parts in the song aren’t bad, they don’t really develop much and the overall sound is bland without the needed vocal melodies. The way thrashy riffs follow older ideas is more interesting than the addition of aggressive singing but still, it’s a weird way to start an album. Furthermore, the kick drum stands out as very annoying and unfortunately, it doesn’t get any better throughout most of the release.

The 2nd track ‘Still Care’ adds brutal breakdown-like sections to their ideas, followed by a strange percussion part that could have been written by any amatuer with little musical knowledge, and access to everyday music technology software. ‘Blood Dope’ is more hardcore punk in a third rate way, with cliched chord progressions. Yes, another genre gets utilised, making the listening experience even more confusing and over-the-top. Frequent time changes in the release are more effective than common stylistic alterations, but unfortunately their characteristic edginess gets tired, soon.

The use of tambourines on ‘Demi’ during the mid-tempo thrashy section is just bizarre. What follows is an ambient instrumental part that is even stranger than ‘Still Care’. It sounds like the music you hear on telephones as you wait to get answered. ‘Flames’ has potential with its exciting speed metal build up and its crisp palm muted guitars, but the song ends way too soon. Like in other tracks, keyboard noises get added in ways that are seemingly totally without thought. ‘Fallen’ is perhaps the strongest song on the album, with its dark moods and interesting harmony, but again it sounds unfinished.

The last three punky demo tracks in the album are noisy to say the least, but the drumming is much better in them. Unsurprisingly, that fact nowhere near saves the band. On the whole, this LP is experimental in all the wrong ways and is seriously lacking in taste. The riffs are mostly basic power chords ideas, and the better ones are spoiled by odd vocals and poor drumming. This music isn’t terrible, but it has few positive traits and would make an insignificant addition to any kind of music collection, in my opinion.

Review by Simon Wiedemann