Leave me dead, leave me dead, by a tree
O’Death remind me of convicts. Specifically, death-row convicts cast to personify Emmett Otter’s Jug Band in a win-or-die prison-reality-TV talent show—a prime-time affair that’d be pitched in Hollywood as Shawshank Redemption meets The Running Man meets Making the Band. O’Death wouldn’t win, of course, they’d invariably lose to some pretty-boy snakecharmer felon, the Blake Lewis of reality Oz, but it’d be hella fun to watch them live (die?) up to their name.
Live, they’re frickin intense dudes. They yell, holler, hoot, freak, stamp, punch, slap, glare at you like they might beat the shit out of you—or each other. They’re like an angry Man Man, if Man Man worshiped Neil Young instead of Captain Beefheart. But while Man Man wear matching white crazy suits, O’Death show up mostly shirtless or in overalls—like they just climbed out from under a cinderblock-propped car. What’s even more oddly spectacular is that they look like cracker-barreled versions of more-recognizable figures: the bookish banjo player looks like Chuck Klosterman’s cousin (that’d be Gabe Darling); the frontman, like Alec Ounsworth’s bearded brother (Greg Jamie); the fiddle player like Steve Buscemi’s nephew (Bob Pycior); the drummer seems like he belongs skydiving into a kiddie-pool of elephant crap on Jackass (David Rogers Berry). All together, they’re kind of scary, which might be why they’re so good.
So as this week’s print Voice will tell you, O’Death just re-released their full-length Head Home on Brooklyn-based indie-label Ernest Jennings. Tonight’s the CD hoedown/freak-out at the Luna Lounge in Williamsburg. In case you resisted the link the first time, there’s more on the O’Death record here.