Murder by Death
Like the Exorcist, but More Breakdancing


4.5
superb

Review

by Ryan Flatley EMERITUS
August 4th, 2006 | 21 replies | 7,574 views


Release Date: 2002 | Tracklist

Review Summary: I think it's time for a change, I never wanted a change, I guess it's time for a change.

Murder By Death are not who they appear to be. Upon first take, you may mistake the quintet as a metal band or something to that degree, but quite honestly, they are far from it. While their writing can be dark, sorrowful, and intense, they are simply just a midwestern indie rock band. Like the Exorcist, but More Breakdancing is a riveting tale with fluctuating emotions highlighted by musical prowess and lyrical wittiness.

Cellist Sarah Balliet introduces Like the Exorcist, but More Breakdancing tepidly, however is enthusiastically joined by guitarist/vocalist Adam Turla in what becomes a beautiful harmony of sound during “Those Who Stayed.” The instrumental track continues with a heavy, dark sound as the piano whims listeners, as a beacon of happiness cuts into the track at the halfway point. Additionally, “Those Who Stayed” is often paired with the longest instrumental track on the album, “Those Who Left” in what is known by the band as the “Medley of Evil.” Both tracks highlight Murder By Death’s wiliness to push experimental boundaries with their resistance to closure that works quite favorably in the end. While “Those Who Stayed” is more straightforward and quick with its structuring and eventual climatic finish, “Those Who Left” saunters. The pace is beautifully controlled, with each instrumentalist shining brightly over a rather gloomy track.

Continuing with the depressing themes within the album, “I'm Afraid of Who's Afraid of Virginia Wolfe” speaks about the Emo scene as Turla shows his lyrical proficiency with the line ‘if you can’t make up your mind, just how different you should be, reorganize your priorities to expect more sympathy.' The complexity continues with “You are the Last Dragon (You possess the Power of the Glow).” Harmonies reminiscent of “Those Who Stayed,” yet distorted bass and guitar sludge along the inner working of track focused around what seems to be the harmful effects of cigarettes. With that being said, Like the Exorcist, but More Breakdancing is not sought out to be depressing. In fact, it is an album constantly searching and playing with emotions released through different intensities and styles.

Glimpses of joy and optimism are sprinkled throughout, as seen with, “Holy Lord, Shawshank Redemption Is Such a Good Movie!” In fact, the track is worthy of ending credits to any movie with a feel-good story as its plot. Lyrically simple, only uttering 'you’re all the way over there, but we can dance to your music from here, so sing,' is damningly and beautifully simple. Like the Exorcist, but More Breakdancing comes to a close with “Untitled,” a succinct, soothing ending to captivating album.

The beauty of Like the Exorcist, but More Breakdancing is there is not a single moment where something feels out of place. Overall, it is a sad record, but the kind of sad that brings self-reflection and curiosity. Murder By Death were not looking to become the next big band with this album. Instead, they expressed themselves how any artist should, by holding nothing back and let their musical freedom carry them to what Like the Exorcist, but More Breakdancing is, a charming album.



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user ratings (104)
Chart.
3.6
great

Comments:Add a Comment 
La Revolucion
August 5th 2006



1060 Comments


I don't like this album as much as their other two. The vocals are mixed too low, and the overall sound is just a little bit less then they show they can do on Who Will Survive.... It's still good, though.

DFelon204409
Emeritus
August 5th 2006



3995 Comments


Two questions. Isn't it Like the Exorcist, But With More Breakdancing? Shouldn't this be under Little Joe Gould?

cbmartinez
August 5th 2006



2525 Comments


I think this might have been released under LJG and MBD but either way, amazing band and awesome album.

IsItLuck?
Emeritus
August 5th 2006



4926 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

The only reason I didn't put it under LJG was because I bought it with the Murder by Death name on the CD and they consider it to be a Murder by Death release even though ORIGINALLY it was under that name. Nope, there is no "with", check out the album cover.This Message Edited On 08.05.06

Digging: Joyce Manor - Never Hungover Again

DFelon204409
Emeritus
August 6th 2006



3995 Comments


Well most people say Background Music is an album by American Nightmare, because they legally released the album under that name. They even say so, and GUTG is a band that has had plenty of legal issues around their name. I think until this gets rereleased under the Murder by Death title, it should be under Little Joe Gould and Murder by Death should have a redirect on their band page.

Jawaharal
August 11th 2006



1832 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

I disagree with you opinion on Caucus Race. I adore that song.

The Jungler
December 28th 2006



4827 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Based on first impressions alone, this is a great CD. I definitely need to listen to it again, but I don't think its quite as good as Who Will Survive.

JumpTheF**kUp
December 28th 2006



2710 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

I havn't heard anything by this band, but the album name is hilarious.

jrowa001
January 20th 2007



8750 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

murder by death are a band who just make beautiful, emotional, and compelling music. i love this album even though theri newer ones are a little bit better. once i hear a murder by death song i have to listen to more

PatchworkNeurology
September 29th 2008



352 Comments


It's been awhile since I listened to this album.
I can't wait to see this band for the 4th time to see the beautiful medly of evil..

Everytime they play it live it's so haunting.

skeames1214
September 25th 2012



2713 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

A prime example of a talented band who maybe aren't technically brilliant, but make up for it by being ridiculously god damn fun. Actually, Who Will Survive is a better example of that. I think this is pretty great by any measure.

skeames1214
September 25th 2012



2713 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Really wish this was a more loved album.

IsItLuck?
Emeritus
March 25th 2013



4926 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

I miss this Murder by Death (as they have changed a shit ton over the years). Have yourself a listen people: http://murderbydeath.bandcamp.com/album/like-the-exorcist-but-more-breakdancing

Kris.
March 25th 2013



12152 Comments


i could never get into this one
who will survive is one of my all time favorites though

IsItLuck?
Emeritus
March 25th 2013



4926 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

I've been listening to both over the past few weeks. Who Will Survive is undoubtedly better, but there's something about this album being stripped down of traditional songs that makes me love it. While "Those Who Left" and "Those Who Stayed" are their best instrumental tracks, "The Devil in Mexico" and
"End of the Line" are probably their best tracks (among A LOT of REALLY good tracks on that album like Killbot 2000, A Masters In Reverse Psychology, The Desert is On Fire, and That Crown Don't Make You A Prince)

Kris.
March 25th 2013



12152 Comments


overall, that whole album is damn near perfect. gonna download this and give it a few spins though and see if it grows on me at all

HereInAfter
July 19th 2013



226 Comments


i'm afraid of who's afraid is a fucking awesome song

skeames1214
September 9th 2013



2713 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Intergalactic Menopause is my fav MbD song. A very good 'one last song and I'm gonna call it a night' song

ShadowRemains
September 25th 2013



20249 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

i'm afraid of who's afraid is a fucking awesome song


this

EaglesBecomeVultures
September 25th 2013



5193 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

their first two albums were something special

Digging: FKA twigs - LP1



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