O Death by Katelan Foisy
Their influences range from Ralph Stanley to the Misfits and the result is an unpredictable Punk raw meets Southern Gothic dark sound. Members Bob Pycior, Gabe Darling, Greg Jamie, David Rogers-Berry, Jesse Newman, Tristan Palozola and Dan Sager attracted attracted the attention of New York's Ernest Jenning Record Co. in 2007 and their album, Head Home was released that summer, both in the US and abroad. In 2008, Gigantic Music released a new 7" of their pared down to near Dada tunes and they have also been part of Vincent Moon's The Take-Away Shows as well as a Ukulele project with the Belgian newspaper, Le Soir.
Though familiar with O Death for some time via Katelan Foisy, who has created some amazing art pieces for them, including the one above, (and who also painted me as 'Faust' for the Mojo Sideshow), it wasn't until a few years later, when working on the new Sideshow's General John Bell Hood tune, that I really felt connected to the music. Aaron Vegas was with me as I wrote it and, when I finished he said, "Oh man, you've got to hear O Death, it kind of reminds me of that." I said that was an odd coincidence since we had the pleasure of the same portrait artist and began to pay more attention to the unique sound.
Katelan's painting of me from the Mojo Sideshow
"Listening to them makes me feel like I just wandered into an old saloon inhabited by lost souls and they're all sitting around drinking their sorrows away." Said Aaron, (Yellowberri PM). "The dirge-like qualities, combined with unorthodox percussion becomes very haunting as you listen to it."
Katelan, who was first commissioned to do a portrait for the 2008 press packet for their album, Broken Hymns, Limbs and Skins, says of their music in her Coilhouse interview:
"It pulls the listener into a world between waking and dreaming. I remember thinking there was something incredibly special about them; it wasn't just that they had taken parts of old time Appalachia and made it contemporary, it was that they could make you feel you were part of the story...
"Hearing an O'Death song is like falling into a small book of short stories told in a cave by a fire, on a ship during a storm, in a pub on the streets of England or while hidden away in a swampland cabin. Their music transcends time."
The bands drummer, David Rogers-Barry, was diagnosed with cancer while their most recent album, Outside was being recorded. Instead of halting the project, the band instead finished it in fragments and the resultant music has, does each album actually, it's own, very distinct tone somewhat apart from the others. Theirs is not a static but rather an evolving, morphing sound.
There are 2 more weeks left of their current tour: http://www.facebook.com/events/470286043013174/ Go see them if you have the chance. If you do, I think you'll find it's not just a concert but an immersive, hypnotic experience.
AND you can buy one of these super cool new shirts of death, (marvelously displayed here by Katelan) if you're at one of the shows, (available online at the end of the month via: http://www.bluecollardistro.com/odeath/categories.php?cPath=787).
Visit the O'Death website: http://www.odeath.net/