O'Brother
The Death of Day


4.0
excellent

Review

by Tom Stephenson USER (15 Reviews)
November 28th, 2009 | 158 replies | 15,083 views


Release Date: 2009 | Tracklist

Review Summary: A breath of fresh air in a genre that doesn’t really exist…

11 of 11 thought this review was well written

Shit guys. As I sat down to write this review, something… amazing happened.

A small television sits to the left of my desk in my bedroom. To be honest, it’s a piece of crap - the reception fades in and out, the screen is about a foot in diameter and it doesn’t have a remote control – but I only ever use to fall asleep anyway. At this particular moment, “Mr. Deeds” was showing. It hadn’t taken me long to establish that the film was probably the low point of Adam Sandler’s ridiculously inconsistent career (fuck you Adam Sandler), so I’d muted it in favor of listening to O’ Brother’s The Death of Day. It was halfway through “Ascension” when it happened; as the gorgeous delayed guitars and pulsing bass built into a climax, my attention drifted back to the television. Although the scene showing on the screen before me was cheesy and melodramatic (the chick is kind of cute though…), this new soundtrack had completely changed it into an epic, heart wrenching delight. Now, let me reiterate that for you: this young five-piece from Georgia transformed an absolute semen stain on the crotch of Hollywood into a work of art.

This grand quality that O’ Brother commit to their music is the best part of The Death of Day. Time and time again it walks the narrow line between tedium and pretentiousness, constantly overbalancing yet never quite falling and somehow always maintaining direction and flow. Taking due note of fellow tourmates This Will Destroy You’s parabolic song structure, the youthful quintet’s style itself is an ambiguous mix of post-rock and indie, with subtle hints of post-hardcore scattered spontaneously across the vast soundscapes. Some of the more aggressive, vocal-orientated moments - such as that found towards the tail end of “The Great Release” – are even reminiscent of recent Thrice; Tanner Merrit’s vocals are endlessly synonymous with Krensue’s gravely tones, sharing the compassionate qualities the latter is renowned for. Instrumentally, the band is very orientated and concise, incorporating a simple and effective approach that allows melody to shine.

And oh Lord, please forgive my erection, but do these boys know how to write a melody! Fast-forwarding straight to the epic nine minute closer, “Oh, Charitable Thief” shows band at their most creative and engaging. Growing from a hazy ambience, Merritt’s delicate crooning straddles a lonely bass and a subdued guitar; the lyrics here are beautiful, delicate and elegant, portraying suicide in a tactful and meaningful fashion. “Oh vessel of grace whisper in my ear / Some melodious sonnet of forgiveness / Sweet seraphim won't you sing me to peace…" The song gracefully blooms, section by section, into a stunning crescendo of violin, tremolo and choir vocals that reflect the transition into the afterlife before gradually disintegrating into a wash of feedback and ambience. This track is astoundingly well constructed – both structurally and harmonically – and demonstrates an unexpected level of maturity and deep thinking for what is the band’s debut.

So as what appears to be “Mission Impossible II” wraps up next to me, I’m going to immerse myself in The Death of Day once again. There’s no doubt the strong dynamics and consistent, unvarying style of this mini-album will become its Achilles' heel as time goes on – a weakness that the band will eventually outgrow in the future - but it’s far from stale yet; strangely enough, it feels like a breath of fresh air in a genre that doesn’t really exist…

You can download The Death of Day for free simply by joining O’ Brother’s mailing list. You can sign up at http://obrother.fanbridge.com/



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user ratings (122)
Chart.
4.1
excellent

Comments:Add a Comment 
tombits
November 28th 2009



3463 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

so this is good, fairly unique and free, so there's pretty much no reason why you shouldn't get it.

Vooligan
November 28th 2009



3541 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Haha awesome. Was watching Mr Deeds before too. You must be an Aussie, too?

I'll check this out as soon as my internet gets uncapped, it sounds really cool.

Kiran
Emeritus
November 28th 2009



5992 Comments


you sell this well, good review

gonna download now

Crimson
November 28th 2009



1935 Comments


great review, first paragraph was genius. checking this out

marksellsuswallets
November 28th 2009



4848 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

The CD is awesome but they just sound so much better live...maybe the production just isn't loud enough or something idk.

Lions
November 28th 2009



1015 Comments


really good review; sounds interesting, and I'll probably download it soon. let's hope I like it.

tombits
November 28th 2009



3463 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Thanks for all the nice comments guys.

Lions, just by looking at your ratings I'd say you'll enjoy this a lot.

marksellsuswallets
November 28th 2009



4848 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I think it's pretty funny that the longer the songs on here are, the better they are.

tombits
November 28th 2009



3463 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Yeah, they're definitely at their best when they embrace their post-rock influences. "Providence", "Ascension" and "Oh Charitable Thief" are the longest songs here, which are also the best, so...

Oh, and I'm going to be whoring this every chance I get, so don't hold it against me. Hehe.

marksellsuswallets
November 28th 2009



4848 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I've actually been playing with a review for this ever since the first time I saw them live (played with them once, saw them once at our drummer's house). They're really just fantastic live (pretty intense) so if you ever get the chance to see them you should jump on it. But yeah, you've done a pretty swell job so I guess there's no need for me to review it now haha.

tombits
November 29th 2009



3463 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Not sure if they'll be coming down to Australia anytime soon, but if they do I'll be definitely going to see them. Regardless, you should still post your review, I'd like to see this band get some more recognition.

tombits
December 6th 2009



3463 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Sucks how little people have listened to this. GOOD, FREE MUSIC EVERYONE! GET ON IT!

zeppelinUSA
December 11th 2009



299 Comments


It must be at least decent if Thrice and Moving Mountains are both in the recommended section.

tombits
December 12th 2009



3463 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Very similar to Moving Mountains, with moments that are kind of Thrice-ish. Instrumentally, it also calls to mind the more concise mewithoutYou songs sometimes. So yeah, tell me what you think.

cirq
December 19th 2009



9257 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

this is really fuckin good

tombits
December 19th 2009



3463 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

yay, someone listenened!

SlightlyEpic
December 19th 2009



5780 Comments


I listened to it the other day too, it is indeed really damn great! nice job whoring it out tombits haha

March_Of_Sand
December 19th 2009



784 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I got it. Its pretty good.

tombits
December 19th 2009



3463 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

I listened to it the other day too, it is indeed really damn great! nice job whoring it out tombits haha

I have, haven't I! Now all we need is to see it on some end of year lists and then I might finally feel like i've completed my whoring duties.

I got it. Its pretty good.

You're a good person.

tombits
December 27th 2009



3463 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

So I just heard these dudes signed to Favourite Gentleman. The label is owned by Manchester Orchestra's very own Andy Hull. Can't wait for their next release now.



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