Murder By Death - Good Morning, Magpie
While it's true you never get a second chance to make a first impression, those first impressions can be overcome. I was reminded of this in listening to Murder By Death's forthcoming album Good Morning, Magpie (out Apr 6th).
My first impression of Murder By Death came when they opened a show for the Reverend Horton Heat a few years ago. I found their performance monotone and tinny. Either they have come a hell of a long way from then or they had an off night, because Good Morning, Magpie is deep and well-textured, nothing like what I heard that night.
The Bloomington, IN quartet have their own unique spin on Americana music. Replacing the traditional mountain music banjo and fiddle with a cello, the band deliver songs like "On the Dark Streets" and the irresistible "As Long As There Is Whiskey In the World". Those tracks, and the overall pub rock feel of the record sounds like ditties The Pogues would play had they been born in Great Smoky Mountains.
The album walks a fine balance between serious intensity and rollicking fun. On one side are tracks like the soaring "Piece By Piece" and the epic closer "The Day". On the other side we are treated to whimsical southern Gothic on "You Don't Miss Twice" and the delightful Americana jig of "Yes".
The lyrical down-and-out themes mesh perfectly with lead singer Adam Turla's deep, almost mumbled delivery. This combination is it's most powerful on "White Noise". The track projects a rumbling thunder, punctuated by ominous vocals that would make the Man In Black proud.
In Good Morning, Magpie Murder By Death has created a roots near-masterpiece that should appeal to fans of everyone from Drive-By Truckers to Dr. Dog to Johnny Cash. It's not a stretch to say we have an early Album of the Year contender on our hands.
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on 2010-08-30 Dustinss5 Said:
I've seen them once already live and they really know how to put on a show. I enjoy their older stuff, but Good Morning, Magpie is a very good album. MBD has a unique sound, dark and relaxing, while at the same time retaining the old style saloon sound that caught my attention in the first place. Their tour brings them close to me again, and I am eagerly anticipating seeing them again, this time with a fresh album to play through.