At Ye Olde Sleeping Village, it's a little odd for the vultures (and other carrion-feeders) to spend time occupying any locale other than the maggoty plague-pit. Thus, imagine our surprise when a Turkey Vulture rapped, Poe-esquely, on the door of our hallowed scriptorum. It presented a package before taking gangly flight--and so, here we are, new Turkey Vulture demo track in hand. How apropos. Funny how it happens, but what can we say? Music promo is an interesting world these days.
For those of you not in the know, Turkey Vulture are a duo out of southern Connecticut with little regard for genre barriers or convention. Their singular brand of metal-by-way-of-punk-by-way-of-americana is informed by a motley cast of characters--not least among them being Dolly Parton Herself. We reviewed their two-track this summer, and, despite having very few songs indeed to grasp in grubby hands, we’re always impressed with whatever Jessie May and Jim Clegg have cooked up. The latest, an acoustic cover of folk ballad “In The Pines,” is no exception to this rule.
Featuring one of the most timeless choruses this reviewer can recall, "In The Pines" is a harrowing number by nature. In their rendition, Turkey Vulture make it even more so, leaning into the somber atmosphere with mournful cello, muffled pitter-pat percussion, and a haunting, wavering, and channel-switching vox. Additional lyrics towards the track's end cast the classic in a seasonally horrifying (and tragic) light. Bottom line: this version of "In the Pines" is a unique take in a long tradition of unique takes. The entire package is sparse and down-to-earth in a way that befits folk roots, and while I'm excited to hear a version that is produced outside of the basement, this demo serves it's purposes mightily.
This particular Villager enjoys bands that are excited and willing to breathe a little life and aggression into songs that inform, in some small way, our cultural consciousness. Such bands are few and far between in the universe of heavy music, and for this reason, Turkey Vulture are a welcome anomaly. As always, I recommend you give them a listen.
Turkey Vulture - "In the Pines (Acoustic Demo)" was released Oct. 31st, 2019