Sooner or later, Death is coming. We all know it. Matt Silberstein just seems more aware than most in the Salvation Alley String Band’s stylish new video for “The Merciless Scythe of Time.”
The bassist looks resigned to his fate as the Grim Reaper glides in behind him after the first refrain in the song, a throwback country tune that features, in addition to Silberstein on bass, plaintive vocals from Ryan McGovern Quinn, pedal steel guitar from Andy Goulet, acoustic guitar from Brandee Simone and pared-back drums from Matt Jugenheimer. Sure enough, Death claims them, one by one, and then the action shifts to the netherworld.
There, the musicians have traded white outfits for black, Silberstein suddenly sports an eyepatch, Goulet’s beard has receded to a mustache and Simone’s face is painted with an ornate Dia de los Muertes motif. As for Quinn, the Devil hands him a double-neck guitar and laughs malevolently as the Northampton band gets right back to playing the song while flames dance around them. Merciless scythe, indeed.
The song comes from Salvation Alley’s third album, “Enjoy This While It Lasts,” which came out last summer. The quintet recorded the LP at Rub Wrongways Studio in Northampton, which is said to have close ties to the Grim Reaper and the Devil. The band’s next local show comes March 19 from 3-6 p.m. in the tasting room at the Fort Hill Brewery in Easthampton.