While prepping for a trip to the East Coast, let’s once again focus on the West Coast magistrates, Seattle’s The Murder City Devils. Rereleased in 2009, the band’s debut self-titled album struggled to stretch its indie wings, something that would over-abundantly come with their sophomore follow-up, 1998’s Empty Bottles Broken Hearts. Although certainly not the band’s most prolific moment, The Murder City Devils cements its deserving place in the collections of those who like their ear candy rough around the edges, yet melodically substantial.
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.
The Murder City Devils, Washington state’s answer to the rum & coke-drinking, bar-closing delinquents of the early 21st century, have, for me, been labeled the garage rock grandfathers of my eclectic collection. Often inebriated, and always loud, the Murder City Devils ease the angry pain of worried, early mornings, and offer a welcoming, yet nagging soundtrack to the bitterness and uneven temperament of everyday life. (i.e. They’re good; you should check ‘em out!)
This 45, a split with Gluecifer, is uniquely discernible from any other release I’ve ever seen. As you can see, the bottom corner has been torched (not by me, although the picture suggests otherwise), which yes, is a rather over-simplified gimmick, but its design technique is both fitting, and particular to each (burned) release.
Happy Friday to those who have not yet lived it, and remember, whether you’re a resident of Murder City or not, the Devils are just a simple spin away.
Drunk, 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.
Left 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.