Alternative music reviews

August 7, 2008

Broken Hymns, Limbs And Skin by O’Death

Filed under: o'death,reviews — @ 10:36 pm Comments (1)

Broken Hymns, Limbs & SkinsI think my first introduction to Gothic Country (if that is the right description – you know, the twisted take on the Southern Bible Belt hoe-down) was with the Violent Femmes. Their Country Death Song was a sick little tale of murder and madness, emphasised by the music that brought up associations from that long history of films that paint the Deep South as a Banjo-playing, incest-ridden, and Bible-inspired den of Rednecks.

Country Death Song

Country Death Song (clip) by Violent Femmes

To come straight up to date there is a new album by O’Death. This is a band from the East coast rather than the Deep South (so that may mean Appalachian Folk influence?) but what they do is play Country/Bluegrass with lots of fiddle and banjo. They like to ramp things up a bit but the hoe-down atmosphere is not of a local dance and having fun but an exploration of sin and retribution. It’s like the music from the O Brother Where Art Thou but with added darkness.

Fire On Peshtigo

Fire On Peshtigo (clip) by O’Death

I imagine that the vocals could get on a few people’s nerves but the music is never less than inspiring. The songs are mostly at breakneck speed and intensity so there is little respite except for some moments that remind me of The Handsome Family.

Grey Sun

Grey Sun (clip) by O’Death

I was just beginning to get a little bored with current Americana when along comes a record like this that just reminds me of why I love it so much. Banjo, violin, and a little bit of Punk spirit – the perfect cocktail.

O’Death on MySpace