Saturday, February 7, 2009

so, brother, raise another pint

murder by death, the world's premier "what if unforgiven was a zombie movie" band has started their 7-in split series. the basic premise is mbd cherry-picks partners in crime, and then they switch songs. the first two choices are iowan-born bluesman william elliott whitmore, and crazed folksters o'death.

some thoughts:
i love murder by death bunches, but so far, they've been outclassed on these splits. william takes "dynamite mine" and strips the dramatics away from the original, leaving just his voice(including some absolutely charming humming) and his banjo, effectively turning the song into an traditional blues song. o'death stamp "brother" with their brand of folk-on-meth, starting out deceptively slow, but amping up the energy to heights unexpected. suited both for fancy dancing with steps, and pogoing with your punky friends, it's what i expected from them, and still gleefully surprising. in contrast, murder by death's takes on "one man's shame" and "home" seem heavy-handed, and weighted down by mournful vocals. "home" fares the better of the two, as the dynamic contrasts and tempo changes near the end compliment murder by death's style a little better. "one man's shame" is turned into a strange tom waits-esque tango(down to vocals that sound like they're sung through a megaphone) that doesn't suit the song at all.

so, so far guests 2, murder by death 0.
and as expensive as these seven-inches are, i'm not sure i can whole-heartedly recommend them. if you get one, i'd go with the mbd/o'death one.

they are found here.

BUT YOU SHOULD go see murder by death on tour.
rock out for me. they aren't coming to alaska this time around.

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