Long Live Death: To Do More Than God . . . to Die
Cranking out the sort of evil hippie, obscuro folk-psych that Pearls Before Swine and early Holy Modal Rounders bottled like homemade jam, the sextet Long Live Death--which includes Oxes' Nat Fowler and Chris Freeland, and general mayhem instigator U.S. Romance--is mirthfully traipsing through mysterious woods that gangs of plucky musicians like to wander into every few years. (See also: Tower Recordings, Pelt's Empty Bell Ringing in the Sky, etc.) The members of LLD genuinely come across as wanting to get their freak folk on, and Die's six songs of pastoral medieval blotter come out almost as fully baked as Eddy Detroit. "There Is No Death" survives primarily on chants and drums; "That Summer" lurches and pauses like a 14th-century Italian dance, though it concerns a teenage boy working for an older woman over one summer; and "Bits and Bits" floats along a dour cello line and somehow comes off sounding as pleasantly lost at sea as Can on Future Days. This EP doesn't quite capture the band's live brio, where it gets a bit more steam going and comes off like it's aiming for Amon Düül lemming land (good luck)--and, really, few things in indie rock are quite as cute as twentysomething white kids trying late-'60s Munich commune-rock on for size.