For more than a decade, Brooklyn's O'Death has been touring with its otherworldly brand of folk punk, aside from a hiatus around 2009 while drummer David Rogers-Berry fought off cancer and had an arm bone replaced with a prosthetic, in a turn of fate that's creepily ironic for a band that's made its name with such a gothic vibe. Getting cancer wasn't ironic for Rogers-Berry, of course, and he's said in interviews that his brush with death made him more contemplative of mortality and, in the practical side, encouraged him to use a more focused, considerate style of drumming.
Since Rogers-Berry's recovery and the band's latest albumthe understated, sad and beautiful Outside, released in 2011O'Death has toured hard enough to mark occasional stops in Missoula, which is quite a feat given the distance between Montana and New York. Then again, maybe not, because O'Death's contemporary bluegrass is very suited to a Montana audience.
For a band with such somber-themed tunes, O'Death generally knows how to get a crowd dancing around old-timey-like. It's hard not to boogie a little to such fast, virtuosic playing. O'Death can be grim with its albums and imagery, but the band members seem intent on joyfully living life.
O'Death opens for World/Inferno Friendship Society at the Badlander Tue., Dec. 4, at 9 PM. $12, advance tickets available at Ear Candy.