Magazine article U.S. Catholic

Babel

Magazine article U.S. Catholic

Babel

Article excerpt

BABEL

Mumford & Sons (Luna Park Records, 2011)

[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED]

Here's the elevator pitch on Mumford & Sons: U2 meets Old Crow Medicine Show at Bruce Springsteen's house. They have Old Crow's rootsy instrumentation and vintage wardrobe, and they share the Boss' heart-on-the-sleeve sincerity and world-conquering ambition. From U2 the band takes a melodramatic sense of musical dynamics, and singer-lyricist Marcus Mumford models Bono's strategy for rendering spiritual longing in terms that are accessible to a post-Christian world.

The Mumford blend of claw-hammering banjo, stand-up bass, thrashing acoustic guitar, and rolling piano blurs the line between the hoedown and the mosh pit. I know someone who plays fiddle in an old-time band and electric guitar in a thrash metal band; he says the only difference is the volume. In both cases, you're playing as fast as you can for people who are wildly jumping up and down. The Mumford boys, none of whom are really kin, have grasped that fact and run with it. …

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