Murder By Death – In Bocca Al Lupo – Review

murderbydeath200Murder By Death

In Bocca Al Lupo (Tent Show)
by Clint Goulden

They say that cellists “Do it in a chair with their legs spread wide.” If this is true, Murder By Death open both their legs and minds on their third album, fortunately afforded with limitless possibilities via writing their own ticket with their new record label Tent Show. Perhaps unfortunately, In Bocca Al Lupo is exactly the product you might expect as MBD’s third vehicle – and I’d safely bet that that vehicle was a pirate ship – yet it floats effortlessly and finds itself impossible to be boring.

Predictable and not boring. Hmm, I’m intrigued already. If it were possible to hide the rum and have an intervention in the galley, this would be the soundtrack. And who couldn’t help but be tickled by the concise but prevalent anti-Bush sentiments that bookend the album? It’s almost impossible to find a guitar solo at a Murder By Death gig, but it isn’t to see a cello demonstration, and this album is definitely a showcase, so subtle at times it makes you want to pick one up yourself. Isn’t that what they used to say Nirvana did for guitars?

“One More Notch,” “Dynamite Mine,” and “Steam Rising” would’ve made for an unbelievable EP, which I would’ve loved to’ve seen, but instead, they wrapped these sunken treasures around nine more-than-capable submissions and called it an album.

Pretentious sounds derogatory, but it used to be pretentious to use a cello. This rips from beginning to end, even if they pander to duplicate their last album here and there. Speaking of ripped, this intervention is over, where’s the rum?