The Dead Don't Die

BY Daniel SylvesterPublished Sep 10, 2019

Just as his deadpan zombie comedy, The Dead Don't Die, left critics baffled, Jim Jarmusch's soundtrack for the 2019 film contains a number of head-scratching stylistic choices.
Released a full three months after it hit theatres, the 15-song/36-minute film companion seems strangely non-committal and much like an afterthought — which is strange, considering Jarmusch's instrumental duo SQÜRL (also featuring producer Carter Logan) has been crafting quality experimental and moody music for over a decade.
Recorded completely with vintage equipment, The Dead Don't Die sounds wonderfully dusty and tactile, but the fact that the album moves from spaghetti western guitar drawls ("The Dead Just Don't Wanna Die Today") to wiry Moog-assisted horrorscapes ("Malignant Wave of Doom") and back ("Toxic Moon") often hampers the already choppy flow of the LP. The fact that each song s preceded by a 30-second sound clip from the film's actors (including Bill Murray, Chloë Sevigny and Tom Waits) just acts as a nail in the coffin for any expectation that The Dead Don't Die will provide an absorbing listening experience.
(Sacred Bones)

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