Murder By Death.

I have suffered through an endless number of unlistenable opening acts. I can’t tell you how many hours I’ve wasted listening to bands that were just terrible. But it’s been something of a mission that I’ve taken on over the years; to stay for all those really really bad bands because I know there’s an amazing, undiscovered band just waiting for me to listen. Murder By Death proves my theory. They are the reason I spent so many useless hours listening to utter crap.

I was convinced to head out on a cold winter night to see Clutch play downstairs at the Middle East. A show that I had nothing but mediocre expectations for. Little did I know that I was about to see something completely different.

If I were to take the easy way out I would compare Murder By Death to Rick-Rubin-American-Recordings-era Johnny Cash. But there’s something more sinister in their music. There’s something punk rock in there too. American Gothic is maybe an apt description. This is the music that the band is playing in the saloon as the outlaw is marching to the gallows. There’s a hint of the rock-a-billy of Reverend Horton Heat murder20by20death20red20of20tooth20and20clawand the Gothic moans of Glenn Danzig (without the cheesy goats blood).

There’s an amazing mix of styles in this music. I don’t exactly know where the deep baritone voice comes from. Adam Turla probably weighs 100 pounds soaking wet and looks more like Woody Guthrie than Isaac Hayes. There’s also something beautiful about a band the puts a cellist at the front of the mix. There’s been no shortage of cellos in alternative music over the last 15 years, but bands that put the cello font and center are a rare breed. And in Murder By Death it’s the cello that sets the Gothic moods and often drives the action.

For all you fellow opening-band-watchers out there, stick with it. These guys were worth my wait. I promise… you’ll find your own Murder By Death in time.


~ by spinthis45 on November 22, 2008.

One Response to “Murder By Death.”

  1. CLUTCH!!! Yeaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa

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