I don’t think I’m the only one who takes some degree of enjoyment out of holding a grudge. Do you really want those t-shirts back from your ex, or is it just more fun to bitch about them? And I can’t tell you how many times I’ve shouted along with glee to the bridge of Brand New’s Seventy Times Seven (an unabashed overdose of musical schadenfreude) . But leave it to one of folk-rock’s darkest bands to put a different and tragic spin on the subject.
Murder by Death’s “I Came Around” is a scorching rocker off their latest LP, Bitter Drink, Bitter Moon. Frontman Adam Turla once introduced the song’s subject matter as “going to the funeral of someone you thought was a dirtbag, then realizing that you’re the dirtbag.” The throng of grief-stricken faces changes the narrator’s opinion about the departed: “I thought your life was nothing more than one long grift- now I sit weeping by your coffin clutching a bottle in my fist.” Cellist Sarah Balliet accentuates the surprisingly upbeat song with stabs of minor-key mourning.
The new record (only $6 for the MP3s on Amazon!) captures the band’s energetic, punk-influenced beginnings, but shows a new maturity when it comes to songwriting. Don’t get me wrong- I love the songs about zombie children, the devil bleeding crude oil, and intergalactic menopause; but, I didn’t expect a song of theirs to hit me this hard emotionally. Not to spoil anything come December, but this is my frontrunner for favorite track of 2012. Now I just need to pry myself away from listening to this song on repeat and go do something with this sunny Sunday.
(…ok, to be totally honest, I wouldn’t mind having my The Bled 2009 Tour shirt back…)