Taking a little cue from Tom Waits and Grant Lee Phillips,
Murder By Death takes a rock stance with a traditional folky
southern feel. Mix in some Johnny Cash imagery and you pretty
much know what I am listening to. Like the above mentioned artists
MBD tells a story with its music. Tales of love and loss, mostly the
latter, as the album takes on a dark foreboding aura.
A lot of the musical sound could be attributed to the cello mainstay,
which is beautifully used, accenting here and being on the forefront
there. Just behind that you have the smokey vocals that just reek
of bourbon and heartache; all essential to creating that southern
mystique of lore. Drums, guitar and bass further heighten the ambiance
with their restraint. Drums in particular show varying levels of input
as they drive fast songs, but readily yield to a backseat for the
Production accurately blends the individual pieces into a coherent
amalgamation, especially considering classical stringed instruments
take more time to get right in the mix. Driving this effort is J
Robbins, always one of my favorites, who seems to be delving into
new territory for him. Usually I could pick his production out of
a line-up, but not so here. Just the fact that he worked something
out of his area, and succeeded in forming a well conceived project
speaks volumes to his personal growth as an artist.
My one nit with In Bocca Al Lupo is the unbalanced feel of
the whole; the faster songs seem to be interspersed in the first half,
leaving the second half slightly dreary. Now these are all good songs,
mind you, it's just that if you have that many slow songs in a row
they become monotonous. I feel like I've been there and done that
one already. If that was fixed, you would have a truly proportioned
record with good ups and downs.
There is a plethora of good material here that deserves to be heard,
"Boy Decide", "Brother", "Sometimes The Line
Walks You", and "Shiola" stick out in my mind as excellent
pieces, but there is not one song I wouldn't recommend. So, if you
like the aforementioned artists and their stylings, they you should
definitely pick up MBD. Sounding so dark never sounded so good.
1) Boy Decide
2) One More Notch
3) Dead Men And Sinners
5) Dynamite Mine
6) The Organ Grinder
7) Sometimes The Line Walks You
8) Raw Deal
9) The Big Sleep
11) Steam Rising
12) The Devil Drives
Check out more
e-mail the chief
Like this article?
it to a friend!