O’Death is not for everyone. Taking a page from the rockScot sound of Dexy’s Midnight Runners, with vocals somewhere between Modest Mouse and The Violent Femmes, and the punk spirit of The Pogues, “Broken Hymns, Limbs And Skin,” the band’s second record, is a joyous trip through death and violence. The band manages to make snarly punk sound old and traditional by lacing bluegrass banjos and guitar between maniacal drum lines and fiery fiddle playing. I could easily see how some people would get a headache.
But if you’re a fan of the rowdier portions of Tom Waits’ catalog, this might be the album for you. In particular, “Legs to Sin,” is a great, galloping barnburner, which leads immediately into “Mountain Shifts,” a lonely, sparse lament that slowly builds into a yee-haw explosion of stop-start fiddling.
This is not easy to listen to. By the end of the first listen, I was spent and needed a break. But I found myself returning to it a few days later, which says to me that there’s something here. Like a flaming pile-up on Highway One, it’s crazy, burning, chaos that will draw you in and keep your attention.
Legs to Sin