Local screamo band, Karloff, debuts self-titled album

In 2018 Nathaniel Murray and his friends started a noise project where they would get together and make experimental music. This progressed into writing actual songs with a cohesive vision of hardcore music with emotional impact.

Now, Karloff, a local band, is debuting a full length self-titled album after three years of work and it is set to release on Oct. 8 through Murray’s record label No Funeral Records. 

Murray, who is also the lead singer of the band, said it is an emotional project with a lot of heart. It is 25 minutes and pulls from influences such as Jeromes Dream, Slint, Modest Mouse, Hella, Orchid, Envy, City of Caterpillar, Daughters, Merzbow, and more. 

“We all think this is the best thing the band has done and hopefully we can top it going forward. But if not, we are all really proud of the emotion and the work we put into this,” Murray said.

“It is very cathartic, introspective music. I think it’s that way for all of us [in the band]. We are all kind of in our own world, and we all contribute to the music in our own way that is really important,” Murray said. 

The band chose to release the LP in October because of their love of horror. The name Karloff is a reference to the actor Boris Karloff who played Frankenstein’s monster in the original Frankenstein film from 1931. 

“Halloween is the best [and] fall is when I’m most comfortable. I watch multiple movies a day in October to try to get as much horror in as possible. Horror has always been super ingrained into my writing and everything that I do in my free time really,” Murray said. 

Karloff teamed up with local horror filmmaker Torin Langen to shoot a music video for one of the singles off the album, Hibiscus, released on Sept. 27. The video is a seamless blend of Langen’s signature folk art cult horror with Karloff’s black-and-white glitchy nature aesthetic, it is unnerving and gory, but also artistic and emotional. 

“Working with Torin was easy. We gave him full creative control,” Murray said.

“I didn’t want to work with anyone else. I don’t think anyone would have been able to nail it the way [Langen] did,” Murray said.

There have been some changes in the band, including a new drummer.

“It’s going to be very different, but we’re excited. So we’re just trying to get our bearings and write all new stuff. We are taking it slow and just trying to get back to the place we were at,” Murray said. 

Although it will be a while before they are feeling ready to play live shows again, Karloff is excited to one day tour more parts of Canada and eventually Europe. 

“There’s endless possibilities of bands to tour with. There’s so many good bands in our scene from all over the world. It’s not a very common music genre, or at least specific style, so we all [tend to] gravitate towards the same values and the same people,” Murray said. 

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Elise writes for the Community Edition and works full time at Bath and Body Works (Conestoga mall location), where she can be seen recommending good smells to those in need with a few dance breaks in between. In her spare time, she loves to snuggle her cat Toast and watch Disney movies. She also makes polymer clay and resin jewelry as her side hustle, Sweet Reverie.