Thursday, December 15, 2011

The Dead Brothers

Day of the Dead (2002)

The Dead Brothers are a funeral orchestra, consisting of banjo, tuba, guitar, accordion, two jugs of moonshine (one empty, one getting there), a drum, and possibly a few kneecaps and thigh-bones. "Day of the Dead' was recorded, amongst other weird places, in a haunted TV studio in Zurich. The songs range from a squashed up, corrosive, chicken clucking version of the Cramps' "Human Fly" to traditional French folk ballads and ancient American blues, all of it either directly related to death and dying, or just sounding that way. And it's amazing, ghoulish and funny, and like nothing you've ever heard before, unless you've been to a lot of funerals in Switzerland. Highlights-or lowlights, deadlights, whatever you want to call them- include the lurching suicidal French Cabaret of "Entre Chien Et Loup" ("Between Dog and Wolf"), which sounds like the kind of thing Jim Thirwell would write, if he were 150 years old; the entirely creepy boogieman ballad, "Closer to You"; and the rootsy, banjo driven swamp killer anthem, "Things You Hide", an obvious choice for Nick Cave's next round of murder ballads. My personal favorite, though, has got to be "The Angel of Death", quite possibly the most inappropriate, psychopathic lullaby you'll ever hear. Forget death metal and horror punk- for truly perverse musical morbidity, the Dead Brothers are the real underground. Pun intended.  

- Ken 

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