Professor Murder Professor Murder Rides the Subway

Never mind the repulsive album cover, the unwise choice in title, and for that matter, the band name, because NYC’s Professor Murder have an energy that would make you forgive them even if they wrote an album about hating puppies. This five-song debut EP puts a refreshing emphasis on rhythm, often adopting attention-deficit drum patterns and the cowbell as a regular instrument, which to these ears is still welcome in abundance any day. Lead track "Champion” is a striving anthem that plays with its percussive techniques by adding layers of instruments and switching up the rhythms until it bows out in a blaze of banging, nicely accented by a spirited chant and laser bombardment. Even the 22-second a cappella "Pedigree” packs a vibrant wallop with its tuneful harmonies. "Cameron’s New Color (Pt. 3),” meanwhile slaps together a "funktastic” beat-fest that is straight out of A Certain Ratio’s playbook circa To Each… "Free Stress Test” closes things out with a spry bounce that never loses its groove even when it introduces the rolling, thunderous drums that to try and disorient you with their power. Anyone who thought the new breed of post-punk was dead and uninspired should give this a whirl. It’s guaranteed to make you believe again. (Kanine)