Murder By Death – Red Of Tooth And Claw


Album

Red Of Tooth And Claw

Label

Vagrant /Shock Records

Year

2008

Genre

For Fans Of

Johnny Cash, Tiger Army, Nick Cave, Tom Waits

Summary

Shit name, sweet tunes.

Rating

85 / 100
Ok, so when this Murder By Death disc came to me in the mail, I lost
my fucking mind and thought to myself “Fuck you KYS, you fucking scumbags,
I hate you for fucking sending me this shit”, because all I knew about
this band was their name and how totally stupid I thought it was. I’d
seen their CDs around and always just assumed they were some late 90’s
metalcore outfit with rubbish fake blast beats and like, American Psycho
samples or something. All that just goes to show what a completely ignorant
piece of shit I am, because seriously, these guys are amazing. 

Opening track ‘I’m Comin’
Home’ sets the scene beautifully with Adam Turla’s simple, country
style guitar picking and brooding vocals launching into one of the albums
rockier sounding songs, with a catchy chorus and genuine intensity giving
the feeling that not only are these guys amazing musicians who know
exactly what they want to do, but they also have a heap of fun doing
it.  

But for me things really fall into place when ‘Ball And Chain’ comes
staggering into the picture. This song is stupidly good. Imagine if
Johnny Cash was the devil and he rode singing through the American Midwest
some time around the 1800’s on the skeleton of a horse, trailed by
a slew of harlots and hucksters playing instruments made from the bones
of dead dogs. Overly dramatic? Fuck you, that’s what it sounds like. 

 

From here on things rollick along with a similar feeling, without ever
becoming repetitive or tired sounding, which would seemingly be such
an easy trap to fall into. But that relates to what I mentioned previously
about this being a band who know exactly what they want. It never sounds
contrived or affected or gimmicky, just haunting, fun, and totally unique. 

 

Closer ‘Spring Break 1899’ wraps things up perfectly, the addition
of piano and cellist Sarah Balliet performing at her epic, orchestral
best is in my opinion, the finest example on this release of the talent
and diversity on offer here, prompting me to listen to this thing start
to finish again straight away, and curse myself for not getting into
them sooner.

Conclusion

Don’t be a judgmental halfwit like me. Forgive this band for having
the lousiest name in history and your clemency won’t go unrewarded,
I swear!!!

Tracklisting

1. I’m Comin’ Home 

2. Ball And Chain 

3. Rumbrave 

4. Fuego! 

5. Theme (For Ennio Morricone) 

6. A Second Opinion 

7. Steal Away 

8. Ash 

9. The Black Spo

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