O’death – Broken Hymns Limbs and Skin

Now on their third album, this Greg Jamie driven New York quartet continues to add more concrete to their foundation as the Bet Lynch of country and folk.

They tease the traditionalists by starting off quite conventionally, before shooting off into goth, anti-folk and indie directions, at times, mingling together the sort of frivolity that Clap Your Hands Say Yeah, Brer Brian, Will Oldham and Th’ Legendary Shack Shakers are now famed for.

This is best illustrated through ‘Grey Sun’, as it sets off with a sorrowful acoustic based stroll that will have you reaching for some sticks to get the campfire going, but then suddenly a tug of angst pulls on Jamie’s vocals and a rougher edge is shown;

“Hang the hardship baby, Hang the hardship baby,
Hang the hardship baby.We go to sleep and then
we die.”

A free-spirited Gaelic punk strut bears out the adventure and spirit through ‘Fire On Peshtigo’, espousing religious imagery and slowly uncovering a hint of desperation in this punchy track.

A deft spindling guitar intro’ to ‘Legs To Sin’ highlights the vocal eccentricity of the Cameron Bird ilk (Clap Your Hands Say Yeah). That brings out the nimbleness and yokel skirting approach of the versatile Greg. It certainly seems like he’s been drinking a lot of Baileys from a shoe.

Through the frantic pop push of ‘Vacant Moan’, to the metal touching ‘A Light That Does Not Dim’. O’death keep you in a state of alert readiness, as at times you need to switch from contemplative to ready to mosh, quicker than the time it takes Girls Aloud to undertake a costume change at one of their highly praised gigs.

In order to show that they haven’t entirely desecrated the purity of country and folk, ‘Lean-To’ lobs slowly and mournfully around an acoustic base and the vocals are wistful and thoughtful. A tambourine jangle hugs the number, as though to say; “it’ll be all right”. Before a bold country ballad is unfurled.

O’death has produced an album that is eccentric, adventurous and textured. It is going to be difficult to ignore them from now on, no matter how much the traditionalists try.

Share this!