“We are Le Cos, and these are songs about murder.” It is with this mantra the modern day murder ballad revivalists Le Cos have taken the traditional folk songwriting form and infused it with a punk edge, flourishes of gospel and 60’s girl group music. Adorned with face paint, the eight-piece ensemble has proven itself an undeniable force onstage that De La Vie TV describes as “the best band you’ve never heard of” with “one of the best live shows I’ve seen” that “will leave you watching in awe.” Brian Cosgrove growls, howls and moans over blistering guitars (Mike Demello, Josh McCool & Tina Brugnoletti), throbbing bass (Keola Sakima), thundering drums (Garrick Hogg), pounding marimba (Matt Demello) and backup singers crying out like The Shangri-Las from hell (Penny Folger & Tina Brugnoletti).

Le Cos’ songs are disarmingly catchy and upbeat despite the dark tales they tell. Although the efficiency of their songs may indicate otherwise (most run around the three minute mark), Le Cos’ songs often contain intricately constructed stories. In “Who’d Ya Kill” a chorus of voices demand the murderer reveal the specifics of the slaughter of his entire family, which he describes in grisly details before ending with the coda “it’s been one hell of a week.” In “Ride’s Up” the horrors of “Dante’s Inferno” are rendered vividly, while in “When The Full Moon Comes Out” the killer within takes the form of a werewolf.

Brian Cosgrove first had the brainchild that would become Le Cos in 2011 while reading dark works Dante’s “Inferno”, Alan Moore’s “From Hell” and Jim Thompson’s “The Killer Inside of Me”. He decided to take the traditional murder ballad form, dust it off and attempt to breath new musical life into it. Initially envisioned as a one-off performance art project, he started recording demos of a series of murder-themed songs and gathered a band that included twins and a practicing witch and would at one point swell to as many as 13 members. Le Cos’ unique sound was born, and the performance art project became the band it is today.

In August, Le Cos released their debut EP “Murder Family Vol. 1” which was recorded at Ultrasound Studios in Downtown Los Angeles with Jon Siebels (Eve 6) & Stephan Lirakis with guest appearances from BJ Miller (HEALTH) on drums & Bonnie Bloomgarden (Death Valley Girls) on backup vocals. The first single from these sessions, “We All Shout”, was released in February along with the music video from director Mike Postalakis (Guided By Voices, Swearing At Motorists).