Finding Thelma

ThelmaLong after the rowdy Seattle serpents threw down the mic for what we THOUGHT was the last time, I found their last studio offering, 2001’s Thelma (EP) at a dingy little thrift store in Ventura, CA. The cover of this album housed a layer of funk so bad it emitted a murky cloud on its travel from shelf to turntable, but this was the Murder City Devils, and its physical filth only seemed to add to the band’s grimy (in an exceptionally good way) persona.

They’ve since recorded 2014’s The White Ghost Has Blood on Its Hands Again which, until researching for this post, I had no idea even existed. The checklist has just been updated.

It’s Hard to Be Smart When You’re Young

MSDDrunk, angry and musically talented muggs who eat steel and drink gasoline should always be given a record contract. If indisputable evidence is indeed required, take a look at Empty Bottles, Broken Hearts, the 1998 release on Sub Pop by Seattle’s best, The Murder City Devils. Featuring the lumbering truck driver blues of every red-blooded fornicator who ever shoved a quarter into a vibrating jukebox, and back when bullying said jukebox actually meant something, MSD’s Ready for More was seldom, however overtly, and incorrectly overlooked.

BackLeft dormant and dingy amongst the filth and cold of my former Milwaukee winter days, The Murder City Devils seldom tend to resurface when things get a bit too heavy to bear. So, imagine my delight when I unconsciously find myself in the throes of another MSD bender, where the reigning cries of “I’m subtle, subtle like a T-Rex” knock the framed photos off my neatly painted walls. I shouldn’t necessarily be surprised, but every once and a while I’m caught off guard.

The Murder City Devils would have gotten a much more respectable write-up, had I not been served so much soul-cleansing rye. Perhaps next time, respect will prevail, but then again, that may be the whisky talking.