GENRE | MOODY AMERICANA
VERDICT | JOHNNY CASH REINCARNATED
LABEL | BLOODSHOT RECORDS
RELEASE | 9.25.12
Americana, the millennial genre-du-jour, is theoretically good. But when done wrong (and with every suspenders-and-flannel-donning would-be Avett, it’s done wronger and wronger), it’s hurting the genre at large. What if a listener hears The Lumineers in a Microsoft commercial and assumes that all modern folk has the forced emotional resonance of a Nicholas Sparks novel with fiddles?
The genre has gotten too big for its seersucker britches.
I say this because Murder By Death is still fighting the good fight. This album was funded by Kickstarter (the third most funded music project in the site’s history), and most of its tracks are genuinely triumphant. “Lost River” begins darkly but crescendos at a more traditional folk chorus. In “Straight at the Sun,” a pummeling bassline drives the entire track (a decidedly current move that lends itself more to ‘90s industrial than folk). Though often rehashing old themes, Bitter never feigns old-timey-ness and never denies its own modernity. Plus, vocalist Adam Turla sounds like Johnny Cash reincarnated.
Do yourself a favor: Buy this album.