John Murry: The Stars Are God’s Bullet Holes – Not for the faint of heart

Fri, Jun 25, 2021, 05:00


The Stars Are God’s Bullet Holes

John Murry

Submarine Cat Records


“I think a lot of what we call contentment is delusional,” notes US songwriter John Murry, who has made Ireland his home for the past six years (he currently lives in Longford) and whose third album is both a balm to the senses and not for the faint of heart – often in the same song. What really marks out The Stars Are God’s Bullet Holes, however, is its through-line of narrative disclosure.

While 1 (1) 1 wilfully opposes the overall tenor of the album by being little more than a wordless clatter of drone/noise, the remaining nine songs form the backbone of one of the best collections of fuzzy indie rock and desert-dry Americana you’ll hear this year. Songs such as Her Little Black Book, Perfume & Decay, the title track, Ones + Zeros, Di Kreutser Sonata, and Time & a Rifle channel Murry’s inner lyric-as-emotional-terrorist persona. Violence raises its head (sadly, it has been a part of his life, especially as an adoptive child growing up in Mississippi) but always without glorification. The real surprise is the indie-pop sensibility that runs through most of the material.

It helps when you have excellent female backing vocalists that harmonically raise Murry’s Lou Reed/Jonathan Richman tones, but you get a sense nonetheless that, delusional or not, Murry is at home with himself now more than ever. It suits him.