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Jay Munly - Munly & The Lee Lewis Harlots

Buy it at Insound!


Label: Alternative Tentacle
Released: Oct 26, 2004

Munly & The Lee Lewis HarlotsRating: 8
> Jay Munly

by Chris Polansky

There are places that I’d much rather hear stories about than visit, and the world that Munly & The Lee Lewis Harlots inhabit is one of them. Full of tales of murder, castration, and incest, this album gives me the creeps every time I listen to it. Jay Munly’s raspy southern drawl is accented by chilling backwoods country, complete with fiddle, banjo, cello, violin, and plenty of female backup singing. The string arrangements are equally delicate and haunting.

As I mentioned earlier, these songs are full of morbid humor and some deeply unsettling subject matter. In “Big Black Bull Comes Like A Caesar,” Munly says, “My parents passed when I was none than three. I forced myself on my brother, made him watch me swell,” and later in the song talks about he and his brother watching his pet bull having sex with a she-cow. “Cassius Castrato The She-Male Of The Mens Prison” is sung entirely in falsetto, for obvious reasons. “Goose Walking Over My Grave” is a duet that begins with the line, “She said, ‘punch me in the stomach,’ / I said I do not know / If I punch you in the stomach then our child inside will not grow.” Oh yeah, and they’re brother and sister. Naturally, the song ends in eye-gouging and murder.

Despite the bizarre lyrics and overall dark feeling of this album, there are plenty of up-tempo numbers and quite a bit of variety on here. “The Leavening Of The Spit-Bread Girls” is full of call and response vocals between Munly and his Harlots and has a Motown meets country feel. “Of Silas Fauntleroys Willingness To Influence The Panel,” adds punk and rockabilly to the mix to create the perfect music for the dance contest the song is about. “Old Country Road” begins as a dark dirge and turns into a floor stomping country hoedown.

Munly & The Lee Lewis Harlots is rural, gothic music that I would highly recommend to fans of Nick Cave or 16 Horsepower. You’ll definitely get your money’s worth out of this almost 80-minute album. PLUS it comes with a DVD that contains images to go along with the music, and has the complete lyrics read by Munly.











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