The band’s fourth album is a cool combination of stagecoach alt-country and dark theatrics. The band’s fourth album is a cool combination of stagecoach alt-country and dark theatrics. Led by singer Adam Turla’s deep, brusk vocals, Murder By Death create a vivid world of old western adventure with a sinister twist. Red of Tooth and Claw has a story to tell, and presents it with commanding style.
Click here for photos of Murder by Death at Southpaw in Brooklyn, NY on November 12th, 2008 in the QRO Concert Photo Gallery
From the beginning, the album swirls with ominous mystery but the gravity in Turla’s voice is always an easy reference point. The determination in his voice on "Comin’ Home" is a far cry from his slightly whimsical tone on "Ball & Chain", but his delivery drives each song the same. Beyond that, the instruments on the album are even more vital to the dramatic sound on Red of Tooth and Claw. Orchestral strings swell with a grim effect on "A Second Opinion" while the skipping drums on "Rum Brave" fuel the urgency. Guitars throughout the album have an alt-rock buzz and use it in an array of devious and theatrical ways – often featuring loose, spaghetti western riffs. All combine with horns on "Theme (For Ennio Morricone)" for a seemingly authentic western vignette.
Red of Tooth and Claw is heavy in several ways: it’s tragic, suspenseful, and operatic. It’s a rock album with a western movie soul, and blends the traits of both of them well.