Punknews.org
Murder By Death - Bitter Drink, Bitter Moon (Cover Artwork)

Murder By Death

Murder By Death: Bitter Drink, Bitter MoonBitter Drink, Bitter Moon (2012)
Bloodshot Records

Reviewer Rating: 4.5
User Rating:


Contributed by: thepopeofchili-townthepopeofchili-town
(others by this writer | submit your own)

A fair amount of things have changed in the world of Murder By Death since the group released the fantastic Good Morning, Magpie back in 2010. In addition to leaving Vagrant Records, whom they had been working with since Red of Tooth and Claw, the group has upgraded to a five-piece, enlisting multi-.
iTunes StoreAmazon


A fair amount of things have changed in the world of Murder By Death since the group released the fantastic Good Morning, Magpie back in 2010. In addition to leaving Vagrant Records, whom they had been working with since Red of Tooth and Claw, the group has upgraded to a five-piece, enlisting multi-instrumentalist Scott Brackett (of Okkervil River fame). Brackett's talents, combined with the considerable skills of longtime cellist Sarah Balliet have expanded what the band are capable of musically, while the rest of the group have sharpened their focus, resulting in Bitter Drink, Bitter Moon, a consistently great effort showcasing some of Murder By Death's best work yet.

Bitter Drink, Bitter Moon commences with "My Hill," an eerie, meditative piece that eschews the country influence the band have displayed in the past in favor of a sound not unlike that of fellow Midwesterners the National. It's a fine introduction and sets the tone for the rest of the album, but it's the next track "Lost River," complete with gorgeous piano melodies from Brackett, that really signals the arrival of the new Murder By Death. It's a more dynamic track than almost anything from the group's last two albums, and when the buildup to final crescendo pays off, it is nothing short of exhilarating.

The rest of the album is no less ambitious or interesting. Due to their colorful band name, Murder By Death have often been mistaken for a metal band. However, there are a few moments on Bitter Drink, Bitter Moon where that assumption wouldn't be completely inaccurate. Most notably, the feedback, pounding drums and distorted guitars of "Straight at the Sun" are more aggressive than the band's typical fare. Mid-album highlight "Hard World" has an almost pop-punk vibe musically speaking, while its eerily vivid lyrics portray the mysterious disappearance and death of a youth.

Vocalist/guitarist Adam Turla's voice has been compared countless times to that of Johnny Cash, and for good reason, but the adventurous nature of Bitter Drink, Bitter Moon gives him some room to try some new things, vocally.

It's worth mentioning that Bitter Drink, Bitter Moon was funded with the third largest campaign in the history of Kickstarter, and it shows in the packaging. Murder By Death have long been known for their attention to detail, and they do not disappoint here. The gorgeous album art needs to be pored over; the lyrics need to be read along with. Bitter Drink, Bitter Moon is the full package, best experienced in a physical format.

Murder By Death is firing on all cylinders on Bitter Drink, Bitter Moon, with every member at the top of their respective games. If you've ever been a fan, this is mandatory listening.

 

 
People who liked this also liked:
The Gaslight Anthem - HandwrittenThe Clash - London CallingThe Gaslight Anthem - American SlangThe Menzingers - On the Impossible PastThe Lawrence Arms - Oh! Calcutta!The Flatliners - CavalcadeThe Gaslight Anthem - The '59 SoundThe Menzingers - Chamberlain WaitsPropagandhi - Supporting CasteAgainst Me! - As The Eternal Cowboy

Please login or register to post comments.What are the benefits of having a Punknews.org account?
  • Share your opinion by posting comments on the stories that interest you
  • Rate music and bands and help shape the weekly top ten
  • Let Punknews.org use your ratings to help you find bands and albums you might like
  • Customize features on the site to get the news the way you want.
Fine Print: The following comments are owned by whoever posted them. We are not respon sible for them in any way. Seriously.
fattony (April 3, 2013)

I agree with Scruffy. I actually didn't like any of this band's other albums aside from Red Of Tooth And Claw until this one came out. This is a damn fine album, though ROTAC is flawless. Doubt they'll ever top it.

Scruffy (October 3, 2012)

""Their best since In Bocca Al Lupo."

This. I love that no one's disputing it, either. Catalog revival record right here."

I'll dispute it. Red Of Tooth And Claw is the best thing they've ever done. This is better than Good Morning, Magpie, for sure, though, if solely for "I Came Around".

davebrave4 (October 2, 2012)

Can anyone remind me what these guys sound like? I haven't listened to them in ages and i'm hesitant to do so at work in case there's excessive cursing.

NeverBeAMachine (October 2, 2012)

Not doing it for me. Needs more punk rock.

telegraphrocks (September 29, 2012)

Didn't do much for me initially, but after reading the review and all of your comments, as well as a positive discussion on another message board, I gave (half of) the album another shot this morning, and liked it a bit more.
Maybe it's just a grower.

I'll hold off on a score until I can rate it fairly.

happynolucky (September 28, 2012)

Lost River could be my favorite song of theirs. Another great album from an underrated band!

Thumbs (September 28, 2012)

Their last 4 records, I fell in love with instantly.
I've listened to this one 5 times already, and with the exception of about 4 songs, it's just incredibly boring.
Worst LP since "Like The Exorcist...".

inagreendase (September 28, 2012)

"Their best since In Bocca Al Lupo."

This. I love that no one's disputing it, either. Catalog revival record right here.

danwazz (September 28, 2012)

I've enjoyed every album these guys put out, but this is their best in a long while. I'm glad the multi-instrumentalist joined the band. Give the band that extra layer of sound they had on Who Will Survive...

oldpunkerforever (September 28, 2012)

I really love this, really neat-oldpunker-

baseball (September 28, 2012)

Agree with everyone else. Best album they've released in a while and I'm a fan of all their albums. The new guy in this band takes them to a whole new level. This could be their most consistently great album all the way through. Really excited for the future of this band.

danperrone (September 28, 2012)

what an album. "lost river" left me floored.

thegreatestmanalive (September 28, 2012)

Man the positive feedback has me real excited to hear this. While these guys are always real fun, their records have felt a little inconsistent at times. In Bocca was the only one i could listen to front to back, I'm pumped to hear people say this is the best since that album.

Leonardo (September 28, 2012)

Their name really is misleading. I had never heard them because I always thought they were one of those awful screamo bands that try too hard to look metal. Thank god I was wrong. This is actually very good and interesting.

Grits (September 28, 2012)

Amazing album. Their best since In Bocca Al Lupo.

irish_punk_is_gimmickry (September 28, 2012)

nah.................

ashtraymonument (September 28, 2012)

they really fucking knocked it out of the park on this one

renaldo69 (September 28, 2012)

beat back expectations to me. good record

MN_DrNick (September 28, 2012)

Suuuuuuch a great album! Love it!

Exclusive Streams

Newest Reviews

Punknews.org Team

Other Places to Go