Murphy's Law - The Party's Over (Cover Artwork)

Murphy's Law

The Party's Over (2001)

Artemis records

For many years, Murphy’s Law was a band who didn’t need an introduction. But without a new release in nearly seventeen years, New York’s most legendary party band might need at least a brief introduction for younger audiences. In short, Murphy’s Law is one of just a few bands that remain from the ‘golden era’ of New York hardcore. Their rise paralleled those of Agnostic Front, Warzone, Leeway, and Cro-Mags. They rose with legends and have managed to outlast many of them. For his part, Jimmy Gestapo, the band’s enigmatic frontman, has kept Murphy’s Law going for so many years. And he is truly one of the greatest and most engaging performers I’ve ever seen live. I don’t say that lightly either. And I suggest you go to a Murphy’s Law show before you get all contrarian on me. But enough of the backstory.

The Party’s Over remains Murphy’s Law’s last full-length record and was released way back on 2001 on Artemis Records. As a complete release, The Party’s Over is a great showcase of the melodic punk-laden hardcore that Murphy’s Law is known for. It rocks with a fun and feel-good vibe from start to finish, very much reflecting the band’s live show. The record also offers a bit of insight into the band’s crossover appeal. It’s aggressive enough for hardcore purists but certainly rings with enough melody to keep the punk and indie-rock listeners interested.

For me, the record’s strongest track is its first in “Maximum Lie.” It tells the story of scenester journalists and how they manipulate what’s right (or not). And yet, the song isn’t contrived or hokey. It’s catchy as all get out in fact, with well-placed guitar leads and bouncing drum beats that complement Jimmy G’s anthematic lyrics. There’s enough room in this song to skank it up, sing along, and just enjoy the punk rock from afar. It sets the tone for the record and similar song structures are found in the bass-drive “Mission” and the bitingly cynical “Know Loyalty.”

In true Murphy’s Law style, the record rounds itself out with song topics ranging from gambling, weed, friends and foes, to personal politics. But the zaniest of all is the record’s closer “Woke Up, Tied Up” in which Jimmy recounts a night of drunken revelry that ends with him waking up tied to radiator with something stuck where the sun doesn’t shine. What’s more is that the song’s catchiness will actually have you singing the chorus of “woke up, tied up to the radiator. Woke up, tied up, should have said later. Woke up , tied up, gotta get it out fast. Woke up, tied up, something’s stuck up my ass.” I say this because I’ve seen it with my own two eyes. A venue packed to the hilt with tough-as-nails hardcore heads, all singing along to that very chorus. The magic of Jimmy G. and Murphy’s Law.

This record isn’t really available in traditional ways anymore, but you can get it on Spotify and maybe find some copies on eBay, etc. It’s worth the search too. Murphy’s Law is a hardcore punk institution. The Party’s Over is a criminally overlooked record in their prolific catalogue. It rocks with ferocity and fun and insight and humor. Give it a listen. And maybe even more importantly, go see Murphy’s Law if you can. You never know when Jimmy G. is going to hang it up.