It’s hard to say anything clever about Turn Back O Man, Phoenix’s premier gothic-Americana combo, when the guys have said it all themselves. Their bio boasts comparisons to Leonard Cohen, Tom Waits and Nick Cave, labels the band “a group of sexy, dangerous, incredibly intriguing men,” and name-drops a laundry list of acts the members have shared the stage with, including M. Ward, Giant Sand, the New Pornographers, Calexico, Magnolia Electric Company, American Music Club, Neko Case, Califone, Devotchka, Jason Lytle (Grandaddy), Smog, Pernice Brothers, My Morning Jacket, and “other artists too impressive to even mention.”
But none of that would mean squat if the band, lead by singer/songwriter Daryl Scariot, didn’t have the songs to back such bravado up. “Devil Like Me,” taken from their debut EP, should make clear that the rogues and scoundrels facade works wonders for the band on record, a sinister, hilarious murder ballad, showcasing not only Scariot’s ensnaring wordplay, but the skill of his crack band-drummer Shane Kennedy, Matt Wiser on pedal steel and, on this recording, playing a particularly mean bass, Dario Miranda.
As our friends over at Electric Mustache said, Turn Back O Man are one of the best bands in Phoenix, as “Devil Like Me” will attest to.