O'Death, Why Are We Building Such a Big Ship?

When Brooklyn's so-called folk-metal outfit O'Death performed at this past March's 35 Conferette, we were mightily impressed. In fact, we claimed that they might be the most definition-appropriate version of a "roots-rock" band. Such a theory was based upon the band's effortless ability to make the new sound old and vice versa. Let's face it: Raw-boned banjo, acoustic guitar and an electric violin that can sound as creepy as it can elegant aren't a sonic combo that anyone can simply pull off without knowing what the hell they're doing.

Their latest album, Outside, is their fourth full-length, and is arguably their most focused effort to date. Formed in 2003 while in college, the six-piece has an uncanny ability to turn harmonic, sepia-tinted sea shanties into raucous compositions, even if the overall album is a tad more restrained compared to their back catalog.

Speaking of O'Death's back catalog: It should get quite a bit more action, thanks to the more accessible gateway of Outside. Fans of so-called "newgrass" or followers of the now-defunct Old Crow Medicine Show would be doing themselves a favor by digging deeper, beyond Outside, in order to grasp onto a new band to justifiably occupy their time.

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Kelly Dearmore