At Screwballs in King of Prussia, Pa. on Jan. 27, I saw a new band—Penrose—a long way from the 80s rock bands I usually see. I saw them in November, and I liked the sound they had: clear and heavy, they blend today with the bygone era of 70s heavy metal, blues and hard rock.
The boys of the band also stole my heart with their blonde hair and crystal blue eyes. The lead singer’s baby face captured my heart the most. But beyond looks, they can rock.
Formed in their hometown of Wayne, Pa. in 2009, Penrose consists of Tom, Pat and Dan Murphy. The Murphies blend hard rock and blues together for a successful symphony. Penrose’s songs hit a chord with the audience in Screwballs.
Mark Schinski, the band’s manager and friend (a friend of mine as well), opened for the band and played a perfect rendition of Tom Petty’s “Free Fallin.” He also made fun of Adele’s “Rolling In the Deep.” Schinski set up for an awesome show.
A family in attendance on Friday night brought their young children and the little girl mentioned to her father that she “loves them” and thought they “sounded good.” Everyone in the establishment loved the mixture of blues (Eric Clapton) and hard rock (Black Sabbath). The Murphies can also write songs as well as play them.
Dan’s guitar ripped the riffs that accentuated the bellowing of Pat’s bass and the beating of Tom’s drums — for Penrose this was a smashing (literally and figuratively) cover of Black Sabbath’s “War Pigs.” The way the song was played gives “War Pigs” a heavier sound and more heart than what Ozzy gave the song back in the 70s.
Penrose later played songs from Modest Mouse and Pink Floyd. Being more familiar with Pink Floyd than Modest Mouse, it sounded like I was listening to them on the radio — Penrose’s playing is very clean and distorts when the song calls for it. They also played their songs “Devil’s Grip” and “Crooked Teeth” with such clarity. The way the songs were played was beyond words. The people sitting at the bar felt the vibrations and watched the show as intensely as I did in the front row.
The Murphy brothers did not disappoint. I was in awe of Penrose’s performance. The decibels their instruments emitted sounded even better than the songs they covered. There is something about a live show that makes one come alive. Penrose’s songs also left me breathless and speechless. They definitely know how to put on a good show.
Penrose currently plays in Philadelphia and the King of Prussia area but are looking to play at The Note sometime soon. To keep up with the band, their website is www.penrosemusic.com, or “like” Penrose on Facebook. On their Facebook and via their site, listeners can also sample their music. The Murphy brothers’ playing skills and musicianship will not disappoint.
Jessica Marie Cavaliere is a fourth-year student majoring in English with minors in creative writing and philosophy. She can be reached at JC671566@wcupa.edu.