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o’death – Out Of Hands We Go

Northern Spy

o’death - Out Of Hands We GoHaving returned to a simpler production sound for their fourth album, o’death opted to record Out Of Hands We Go’s twelve songs live in the studio with Caleb Mulkerin at the controls. With Greg Jamie’s vocals burning brightly at the band’s heart, o’death bring rock and country instrumentation into close collaboration, mixing in many particular devices of their own devising or finding which they have acquired over the years. Theirs is a unique, immediately identifiable sound, and o’death are a band who make and move to their own different tunes.

So fiddle bows and banjo plucks are as likely to carry the interwoven melodies as an electric guitar and the signature distortion which often flecks the emotive vocals,

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O’Death (live at Hoxton Bar & Kitchen)

Concrete And Glass Hoxton Bar & Kitchen, LondonO'Death 2 October 2008

O'DeathWhen you go to a show by a shirtless, rabble-rousing mob like O’Death, you really expect to see the band set up on the floor, separated from their sweaty audience by little more than a few blobs of spit and sawdust. That’s how I imagined it anyway, so it is with some apprehension that I view the venue at the Hoxton Bar and Kitchen. With a sleek black interior, expensive light fittings and a stage at least three feet higher than I had hoped, this cold-fish setting makes me wonder how O’Death are ever going to manage to forge a connection with the notoriously cold-fish Hoxton punters.

Well, not to keep

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O’Death – Broken Hymns, Limbs, and Skin

Label: City Slang (Europe)/ Ernest Jenning Record Co (USA) Format: CD

Broken Hymns, Limbs, and Skin - sleeveO‘Death’s stated intention with Broken Hymns, Limbs and Skin was to capture the energy of their live sets on record, and anyone who has seen one of O’Death’s riotous shows will know that this is a hell of a tall order. The resulting album is a gypsy stomp barn burner, a chaotic celebratory oom-pah punk sea shanty set to wailing fiddles and crashing shards of scrap metal, an emotional hoe-down encompassing howling angst and Jesus-jumping ecstasy and whisky swagger. As for freezing an O’Death show and printing it on three and a half inches of plastic, this is about as close as you’re going to get.

Granted, at the moment we’re not exactly short of artists who earn their crust exploring the dark underbelly of

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Wolves In The Throne Room/Naked Shit – Earth/Sir Richard Bishop (live at The Underworld)

The Underworld, London 10 and 12 February 2008Naked Shit Naked ShitThe day after a chunk of Camden Market burnt down, Southern Lord‘s finest black metal act touch down in The Underworld. Thankfully the conflagration was at the other end of the High Street, so the gig continued as scheduled with the only hint that something had occurred being the line of police officers across the road by the tube station.

Support act Naked Shit are notable not only for their terrible name, which at least sparks debate as to whether it’s a nude turd or an excretion performed in the altogether, but for the presence of a horse as the bass player. OK, so it’s really a man in a suit with

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O’Death – Head Home

Label: City Slang (Europe)/ Ernest Jenning Record Co (USA) Format: CD Head Home - sleeveHead Home is a record which works its way into the subconscious, and O’Death are one of those bands who become such a fixture on the scene in a relatively short time that they are now a yardstick against which to measure similar bands. Country music – in its widest sense – has come a long way this century to recovering all the ground lost to rhinestones and Republicans in the Nineteen-eighties. Buegrass has certainly changed a bit, with groups like this playing their infectious take on the genre not so much like Country Gentlemen as front-porch punks – from New York, of course. Unlike, say, the Bad Livers, who whip up twisted banjo versions of Motörhead or Iggy Pop (as well as producing their own

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