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.