Song, by Toad

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Bob Frank & John Murry – World Without End

World Without End

Christ this is a bit harsh. No, actually that doesn’t even come close to doing it justice: harrowing is what this record is. And brilliant.

This is the real Murder Ballads. Taking ten songs of murders and deaths from the psychopath to the wrongly executed, Frank and Murry have turned them into deep, dark, portentous country folk ballads with genuine emotional impact. The comparisons are easy: as you might expect they occupy a sort of Williard Grant Conspiracy/Johnny Cash/Nick Cave territory but they also in voice and tempo can remind me a little of British Americana-merchant Lucky Jim’s first album.

The music is surprisingly variable, despite and oppressive air of foreboding throughout, and the adventurous arrangements lift this well clear of the albums of morose balladeering you might fear from the description. Glimpses of Nick Cave’s sinister god, Tom Waits’ deranged carnival and Johnny Cash’s tragic amorality tales drift in and out, adding layers and depth.

If you don’t like your gothic country noir then I guess you’d better steer clear, but honestly if this sounds like it’s vaguely in your territory then buy it. Evocative, paralysing ghost stories swirl around this record and grip you tight. And then you remind yourself, these are not stories, they are histories.

Bob Frank & John Murry – Tupelo Mississippi, 1936
Bob Frank & John Murry – Jesse Washington, 1916

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8 witty ripostes to Bob Frank & John Murry – World Without End

  1. avatar

    Nice. You might like this as well…

    (a href=”http://birdiesong.wordpress.com/2007/03/23/sufjan-stevens-john-wayne-gacy-jr/” title=”Sufjan Stevens – John Wayne Gacy Jr”>

  2. avatar

    Bollocks! That should have been:

    Sorry!

  3. avatar

    I’ll get me coat… please feel free to delete those last two cock-ups, I was trying to be smart. Here’s the plain old url:
    http://birdiesong.wordpress.com/2007/03/23/sufjan-stevens-john-wayne-gacy-jr/

  4. avatar

    Three post mentalism!

  5. avatar

    On the subject of collaborations, any word on Nina Nastasia & Jim White? Seems like it might be up your tree Falski.

  6. avatar
    Campfires & Battlefields

    God damn! That Jesse Washington tune is truly harrowing. I’ve got to do some tai chi now just to calm down.

  7. avatar

    It’s harsh eh. I choked up a bit myself.

  8. avatar

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