Record Review – O’ Death – Broken Hymns, Limbs and Skin (Kemado)

New York based Gothic/Country/Punk band O’Death are named after the Dock Boggs penned song made famous by Ralph Stanley on the “O Brother, Where Art Thou?” soundtrack. Like that hauntingly plaintive Appalachian dirge “Broken Hymns, Limbs and Skin,” the third LP from O’Death, 14 tracks recollect tales of sorrow and ecstasy nearly reaching levels of a Pentecostal tent revival on a hot, sticky Summer night. If Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds were invited to contribute to the same “O Brother Where Art Thou” soundtrack it might sound a lot like this.

The release commences with “Lowtide” with its gypsy plucked violin trot that quickly breaks lose to a full runaway gallop, all cleaved through with Greg Jamie’s unnerving vocals.  Jamie intermingles British Sea Power and Brake’s Eamon Hamilton nervy wail and Pixie’s main howler Frank Black to result in something unflinchingly manic.

“Fire On Peshtigo” is a searing thrash-hoe-down that gives off as much heat as those described in the lyrics. You can almost imagine Bob Pycior’s fiddle smoking and threatening to burst into flames. “Legs To Sin” is a mountain jig that owes as much to white-hot punk as it does to old timey dittys.

“Mountain Shifts” is a woozy junkyard waltz that might tickle Tom Wait’s fancy. “Vacant Moan” starts with Gabe Darling’s slow discordant  claw-hammer banjo but quickly careens toward a wheezing, stuttering thunderous end.

“A Light That Does Not Dim” recalls The Pixie’s “Nimrod’s Son” (which O”Death covered on a 7″ single in October 2007) with all it’s primal impact and “Grey Sun” puts a fine point on the Gothic elements of O’Death’s with the refrain “hang the hardship baby, we go to sleep and then we die.”

“On An Aching Sea” is a slinky trash can sea-shanty of a poisoned marriage and “Angeline” is a sweetly aching tale of loneliness, abandonment and mortality. Like the before-mentioned Ralph Stanley’s genre of mastery, Bluegrass, there is no shortage of dark and tragic narrative in these songs.

Like their sonic brethren The Felice Brothers, Th Legendary Shack Shakers and Those Poor Bastards, O”Death takes a fever dream of music echoing from the saloons, alleys and churches across America’s past and distills it into a dark elixir of blood, moonshine and adrenaline.

O’Death – “A Light That Does Not Dim” – Roisin Dubh in Galway – 09/26/2008


Johnny Cash Folsom Prison Show Legacy Edition – 10/14

  • Christmas is not too far away, and the perfect gift for your Country Music aficionado (ah hem) is the Johnny Cash Folsom Prison Show Deluxe Box Set. This Legacy Edition will feature a 2CD/1 DVD will feature the entire two Cash 1968 concerts from the California prison, totaling in 31 previously-unreleased tracks, including songs like “Blue Suede Shoes,” “I’m Here to Get My Baby Out of Jail,” “This Ole House” and even more duets with his wife June Carter Cash. The DVD contains footage from the shows, plus interviews with Merle Haggard, Roseanne Cash and inmates who witnessed Cash’s Folsom concerts. Also featured are liner notes penned by both Cash biographer Michael Streissguth, Steve Earle and Cash himself, which he wrote in 1999. Out October 14th via Columbia/Legacy.
  • The Prophets of Country Doom Those Poor Bastards new release “Satan Is Watching” will be available (fittingly) on October 31st. on CD and Vinyl.
  • Get over to ebay and buy up all the It Burns When I Pee goodies! Norma Jean’s panties aren’t going to be up there forever people!
  • And lastly a little video from the Americana Music Conference:

Glen Campbell – Good Riddance (Time of Your Life)


Those Poor Bastards To Release “Satan is Watching”

Hot on the heels of “The Plague” which was released just last March Madison, WI based Gothic-Country band Those Poor Bastards will release “Satan is Watching” this October. Just in time for All Hallows Eve, kiddies.

For the vinylphiles among you, this will be the first TPB release offered as a limited edition 12″. Track liting will be released when the final release date is ironed out.

Those Poor Bastards – Pills I Took