O’Death, Outside

Laura Leebove

By Laura Leebove

Managing Editor
on 04.12.11 in Reviews

Brooklyn's O'Death make Americana music that's as lyrically bleak and brooding as the band's name suggests. On their fourth LP, Outside, there's talk of dirty fields; cold, dark sweat; red eyes; bloody hands and weary feet; storms and floods; and long, black dresses. There are several contrasts of dark and light: In Outside's brief, soothing opener, "Bugs," frontman Greg Jamie sings, "I've been wastin' most my time living for the day/ When, like bugs, we figured out how to make light stay"; in the industrial waltz "Alamar," he talks about a woman wearing a light dress, who's "in flames by the sea."

As lyrically bleak and brooding as the band’s name suggests

The soundtrack fits, too: A fiddle swoops through stomps and claps in "Ghost Head"; "Black Dress" starts with eerie banjo harmonics; and "Pushing Out" is backed by a soft, stormy whooshing noise. O'Death's songs are an unlikely fusion of folk with punk, goth, metal and bluegrass, and though Outside is a bit musically tamer than 2008's Broken Hymns, Limbs and Skin, it's only because the gloom and doom is more contained this time around.