The specter of the South may loom large in the songs of the Builders and the Butchers, as do God and the Devil, but the five-piece has its origins much further north. Based in Portland, Ore., each member is a transplant from Alaska. But that doesnt detract in the least from singer and lyricist Ryan Sollees stark tales of death and other daily tragedies. Likewise, so much grimness in the lyrics is bent to the bands rousing purposes, as the players armed with mandolin, banjo, and homespun percussion are often lost in stomping, thumping, old-timey revelry. Its creaky Americana reimagined with an especially dark streak: Bottom of the Lake evokes concrete boots, Down in This Hole portrays seriously misguided police, and The Gallows is self-explanatory. Having put down roots with a self-titled debut, the Builders and the Butchers have recently been riding high on the success of its follow-up, Salvation Is a Deep Dark Well, produced by the Decemberists Chris Funk. Theyve officially joined the ranks of Hoots and Hellmouth, Mumford and Sons, and other and-loving old-soul folk troupes.
Blue Giant and Buxter Hootn open.
Wed., Jan. 13, 9 p.m., 2010