Murder City Devils

Murder City Devils

Empty Bottles Broken Hearts

Sub Pop

Seattle’s Murder City Devils are ready to give ’90s rock a badly-needed slap in the face. Mixing old school hardcore and garage rock spiked with elements of surf, rockabilly, and horror movie farfisa organ, they can’t be accused of trading on the strength of any one popular genre. “I Want a Lot Now (So Come On)” starts off the disc like a truck barrelling down a steep hill with no brakes: Best to just enjoy the ride and not worry too much about the outcome. Spencer Moody’s sung-shouted, gravel textured vocals and alley cat demeanor add a quality of puckish menace to songs that touch on moods as diverse as care free partying and introspective self abasement. “Dancin’ Shoes” and “Ready for More” — where the Cramps meet the Stooges — are reflections of the MCD’s adventures on the road, while “Hey Sailor” is a swinging punk rock a-go-go. In contrast, “18 Wheels” reveals a career trucker’s fear that his wife might leave him, and a guilt-ridden man is unable to sleep; haunted by thoughts of “Every Shitty Thing” he’s done to other people. The heart-felt “Johnny Thunders” manages to be both an upbeat and mournful tribute to the late rock legend. “The very next song/it was going to be a hit,” growls Moody before tipping his hat to the city that gave them their name by concluding “It took a city like New Orleans to kill a man like Johnny.” It’s evident that, when Spencer sings “Some people were born to rock and roll” (“Another Round on You”), he’s just singing about himself his band. Sub Pop Records, 1932 First Ave., Suite 1103, Seattle, WA 98101; http://www.subpop.com

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