If the Cranberries late singer Dolores O’Riordan fronted a folk punk band, there’s a very good chance they would sound a lot like Emily Davis And The Murder Police.
On the El Paso band’s sophomore effort, Never A Moment Alone, the band deftly melds the seemingly disparate worlds of folk and punk and flexes their own chameleon-like ability to adapt to pretty much anything, proving exactly how it made sense that they were able to open for bands like Bad Religion and Leftover Crack and then share a stage with Neko Case. The album opens with “Artificial Happiness,” with its Spaghetti Western guitars slowly building to Davis’ soaring vocals, a constant throughout the album; a perfect prelude to what follows.
Elsewhere on a song like “Why Weren’t They Stunned,” about a lack of concern around the growing climate crisis, the band is able to show off their knack for fantastic, confrontational lyrics. “Semicolon,” one of the shortest tracks here clocking in at just two-and-a-half minutes, also happens to be one of the best; acoustic, catchy and smart, it stays with you long after the album stopped playing, thanks to Davis’ striking vocals. The driving “Don’t Make A Promise” – a track about keeping your word – beautifully unifies bluegrass with ferocious guitars and blistering drumming making for one of the albums strongest moments and shows off the band’s musical agnosticism and one of the best examples in recent music history of hardcore folk.
For a band that is just as much folk as they are punk, they initially gained attention outside of Texas thanks to their inspired covers of Bad Religion songs on their YouTube page, a move that brought them to the attention of the band ultimately leading to an opening slot on their 2019 tour. Before the pandemic hit, they were also slated to tour with El Paso’s favorite sons Sparta. Here’s hoping that tour gets rescheduled as these songs would sound amazing live.
Photo credit: Fernie Ceniceros