Music Review: o'death — Head Home

by Kevin K.
Head home
Topped with one of the most gorgeous CD covers to come around in years, o’death’s Head Home kicks off with the righteous growl-stomp of ‚”Down to Rest” and continues to plow through fourteen more roots-infused beauts until you find yourself shocked and saddened that your trip through ‚”Gas Can Row,” the last track, has ended. Compared erroneously to Tom Waits (except for a few percussive and guttural moments) in a few music blogs, o’death is really more Will Oldham meets the Holy Modal Rounders with a splash of the drunken sprawl of the Pogues and the youthful energy of early Violent Femmes—the association is unavoidable on ‚”Nathaniel” —tacked on for good measure. A lot of the material on Head Home consists of knee-slapping, banjo-and-fiddle fueled stomps that throw sparks in every direction imaginable, but the haunting ballads really shine, too. So often current alt-roots/country music tends to slide into the abyss of mediocrity, assuming that a slide guitar run or a few plunks of a banjo can cure just about any ill, but this NYC six-piece knows full well how to kick that shit in the ass (maybe breaking a bottle or two over its head on the way) and breathe life into a genre that’s often seen slow-choking under a cardboard apple tree. Yee fucking haw! O’death done good. Real damn good.
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You can purchase Head Home (and sample a few tracks) at o’death’s MySpace site. (Also available at CD Baby) Upcoming local gigs listed here.