Call for Essays About Any Aspect of Popular Culture, Present or Past

Music
cover art

Murder By Death

In Bocca Al Lupo

(Tent Show Records; US: 23 May 2006; UK: Available as import)

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.

Rating:

Evan Sawdey started contributing to PopMatters in late 2005, and has also had his work featured in publications such as SLUG Magazine, The Metro (U.K.), Soundvenue Magazine (Denmark), the Daily Dot, and many more. Evan has been a guest on HuffPost Live, RevotTV's "Revolt Live!", and WNYC's Soundcheck (an NPR affiliate), was the Executive Producer for the Good With Words: A Tribute to Benjamin Durdle album (available for free at GoodWithWordsAlbum.com), and wrote the liner notes for the 2011 re-release of Andre Cymone's hit 1985 album A.C. (Big Break Records), the 2012 re-release of 'Til Tuesday's 1985 debut Voices Carry (Hot Shot Records), and many others. He currently resides in Chicago, Illinois. You can follow him @SawdEye should you be so inclined.


Media
Murder by Death -- "Brother"
Related Articles
1 Nov 2012
Ten years into their career, the Indiana band (who is not, by the way, a metal band) reveals their Kickstarter secrets and why not every record is a concept album.
26 Sep 2012
This is romanticism as done by Murder By Death, the most endearing sentiment laced with the morbid, and yet, when the wave-breaking crescendo hits, it’s inescapably moving.
23 Sep 2012
Bitter Drink, Bitter Moon finds the Murder By Death paradigm in place -- tapping and merging American roots music to yield songs at once cinematic in scope and presentation and literary in their lyrical construction and themes.
20 May 2008
Switching over to emo-rock outfit Vagrant, the fiery cello-rock group turns in the greatest set of lyrics they have ever penned -- only to match them with the blandest tunes they have ever recorded.
discussion by

Comments
Now on PopMatters
PM Picks
Announcements

© 1999-2014 PopMatters.com. All rights reserved.
PopMatters.com™ and PopMatters™ are trademarks
of PopMatters Media, Inc.

PopMatters is wholly independently owned and operated.