[22 September 2006]
PopMatters Interviews Editor
Murder By Death have always been stuck in a weird place. More is known about the band, but not as much about their music. The group was named after a 1976 satirical detective movie penned by Neil Simon, and their live shows are filled with raging cellos and setting things on fire. What’s lost is, in fact, a very talented band that at times sounds like if the Drive-By Truckers were an art-rock band. The storming, excellent “Brother” is a swell choice of a single—a dirty, catchy little ditty with the memorable chorus of “I know there’s better brothers / But you’re the only one that’s mine.” Though there are many other fantastic highlights (the opener “Boy Decide”, the moving story-song “The Big Sleep”), the countrified rock sound with cello in tow grows to be a wee bit repetitive around the half-way point, you can still say that few bands have as distinct a sound as Murder By Death. If I died while listening to this, I wouldn’t complain in the least.