Review : Murder By Death - Red Of Tooth And Claw
AllmusicMurder by Death address a number of themes on Red of Tooth and Claw, none of them particularly uplifting -- consuming passion, dark romance, longing, revenge, death, and destruction. It may sound at first like the makings of a mediocre goth album, but the band's combination of a taut, tense, elegant delivery and poetic lyrics breathes life into each of Red of Tooth and Claw's songs. Like 16 Horsepower, Murder by Death explore a darker side of country-rock, and there are two important influences in evidence here -- vocalist Adam Turla owes much of his sound to Johnny Cash and Nick Cave, but doesn't cross the line into mimicry. Instead, he leads the rest of the band in creating a mood and atmosphere that could be described as "country gothic," a sound whose dark romanticism and rustic overtones manage to be both bleak and warm....full text
SputnikmusicRed Of Tooth and Claw marks the second album without keyboardist Vincent Edwards as a full-time contributor. Why is that significant? Well comparing Like the Exorcist, But More Breakdancing and Who Will Survive, And What Will Be Left Of Them? with their latest albums, there is clearly a difference as far as songwriting is concerned. Songs like "That Crown Donít Make You A Prince" and "Those Who Left/Those Who Stayed" from their previous albums were so dark and sinister, fitting perfectly with Murder By Deathís eclectic line-up. Post-Edwards, Murder By Deathís songs tend to be more structured and less challenging, but seem fitting for Murder By Death to adapt to with their new Americana style. Yet, they still find a way to stick in a song that just blows the top off an album, like "Raw Deal" and "The Big Sleep" from In Bocca Al Lupo. It's clear they from In Bocca Al Lupo they have moved on without their notable keyboardist, but how far have they come with Red Of Tooth and Claw?...full text
SpinIn this Indiana quartet's young, grizzled hearts, it's always "Spring Break 1899." They brawl like Johnny Cash's cellmates or dreamily swoon like Nick Drake, stomping saloon floorboards in 4/4 time as grand strings fade into high noon. But literate, wantonly nostalgic country rock is a tough sell these days. Red of Tooth and Claw, like 2006's grumpier In Bocca Al Lupo, runs low on contemporary touchstones or appeal. Keep this on your great-grandparents' Victrola, though, for a rainy afternoon of rootsy escapism....full text
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