Sound — 10
I first heard Murder By Death on several compilation CD's that I purchased over the years but never payed them a whole lot of attention. But, one time I listened to it and one of the songs stood out to me so I decided to check out more stuff from them. Initially I downloaded a few songs and was not particularly fond of them so I got rid of them. Eventually, I did find more from them and now I absolutly love their sound. The instrumentation makes the music what it is for the most part. The keyboard/cellist is something not often seen/heard in even indie music today. The bassist moves way up the fretboard frequently and plays some notes that sound like they are in guitar range more than bass. The singer's is almost remnant of Johnny Cash at times and adds to the whole experience.
Lyrics — 10
The lyrics to this particular album deal with a story the band thought up. The first song is about the devil getting shot in the back in a bar and the rest of the album follows the story line accordingly. It follows a battle of good and evil with the devil himself. The lyrics are pretty dark for the most part but creative and original and certainly add another important element to the band's sound.
Overall Impression — 9
This album, although not the best from Murder By Death, is certainly something worth owning. Their latest release In Bocca Al Lupo, follows a very similar style of music but with better sound quality and some different thematic elements in the lyrics. The release prior to this one, Like The Exorcist, But More Breakdancing, has a little lower sound quality and a few strange choices in mixing and levels but nevertheless is still a good album too. Each song is catchy and unlike the last. Some of the highlights of the album include, Devil In Mexico; Until Morale Improves, The Beatings Will Continue; Three Men Hanging; and End of The Line. Between the songs that move the story along there are several "spacey" tracks resembling intermissions in the story line. If I lost this album or it was stolen, I would buy it again without a doubt. It is definitely worth owning for any fan of indie music and probably Johnny Cash.