Murder by Death - Red of Tooth and Claw 

Vagrant

Decidedly more murky than its 2006 album "In Bocca Al Luppo," Indiana's Southern Goth-rockers have released a "Red of Tooth and Claw," a new record that should satisfy hard-core followers, but isn't likely to turn on new ears.

 

The album's second track, "Ball & Chain," is an album peak with singer Adam Turla's legato croon leading a cabaret-style burlesque ballad. "Rum Brave" is a brisk and perky brawl with country shuffle drums and deft cello strings from Sarah Balliet that are hushed and eerily whimsical.

 

Also pleasing is "52 Ford," which has a ballroom-dance feel, understated twangy guitars and sharp, abrupt cello accents.

 

Unlike the group's previous albums, "Red of Tooth and Claw" leaves the impression that Turla is purposely restraining his unsettling, messy song style that has long defined the band's signature sound.

 

"?Joe Wertz

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