Murder By Death The Other Shore
Published Aug 21, 2018This is the eighth full-length from the Louisville-based roots-rockers, and it certainly doesn't lack in ambition. Described as a "space western about a ravaged Earth, its fleeing populace and a relationship in jeopardy," it takes the listener on an entertaining journey through varied musical terrain.
The opening track, "Alas," sets the tone by asking, "When shall I return? I confess I don't know," followed by the mournful tinge of "Chasing Ghosts." The pace picks up with "True Dark," with swirling organ and cello embellishing its apocalyptic content, while "Stone" has a Nick Cave-meets-Calexico feel.
Pinning the MBD sound down has never been an easy proposition, and The Other Shore is no exception. For instance, one album highlight, "Bloom," has drawn Cure comparisons, given the chiming guitar, keyboards and pulsing rhythm featured. One signature of the group's style has been the fluent cello playing of Sarah Balliet, and that is again showcased vividly here. The virile baritone of guitarist/singer Adam Turla is an effective vehicle driving the narrative throughout (it especially shines on the sombre "Only Time"), while the songs stand on their own if you're not fussed about digging too deep into the conceptual theme.
The album ends on an epic note with "Last Night On Earth," a cinematic look at a planet in chaos ("skyscrapers fall to the ground, children lost in the rubble and never found") featuring a lonely sounding trumpet crying out. Uneasy listening indeed. (Bloodshot)