Sep 22, 2023

If I called Manhattan Murder Mystery “Americana,” it would make them sound like buttoned-up Nashville careerists. If I say “folk-punk,” it’d conjure sketchy crusties with a Carlo Rossi bottle jug band. So, let’s say that Manhattan Murder Mystery play shuddering, dramatic, rootsy punk anthems with big choruses and a little Dead Moon darkness. The singer has a folksy, Gordon Gano quaver to his voice that makes lyrics like, “I’m waiting for the Lord to help me/ I’ve got a messed-up brain” feel big and mythical, and I kept feeling my ear being pulled back to the speaker as I was washing dishes and playing to this. It’s an arresting listen, recorded by Steve Albini, at that. –Chris Terry (

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