Thursday, May 18, 2006

In Bocca al Lupo

Posted on Thu, May 18, 2006 at 4:00 AM

In Bocca al Lupo
Label: Tent Show / East West
Rated: NONE
Media: CD
Format: Album
WorkNameSort: In Bocca al Lupo
Damned souls tell the best stories, and Murder by Death's In Bocca al Lupo gives its fatally flawed protagonists space to spin their yarns. It also provides them with apt backdrops: For example, mutinous pirates group-shout a sea chantey. This format might sound gimmicky, but Murder by Death makes it musically cohesive and lyrically compelling. When a jailbreaker sees police dogs chasing him, he growls, 'I'm hungrier than they have ever been.â?� On the eve of his execution, a gunslinger sees 'the riverman ferrying me to hell.â?� These rural rebels receive gothic country soundtracks with swelling strings, barbed guitars and gloomy-saloon piano. Adam Turla convincingly inhabits each character, summoning impressively grizzled tones. Bolstered by a surging rhythm section, the choruses feel as urgent as innocence pleas, but these dignified anti-heroes refuse to deny their crimes. Still, the album's unusually optimistic ending (a choir chanting, 'There's still time to start againâ?�) suggests this charismatic crew is not yet beyond redemption.

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