First all, what the hell?
This site has been around for quite some time, 6 years I'm going to presume, and as the site is adding its back catalogue of albums that were produced before the time of the messageboard shit-talkers, there was a definite lack of this amazing album. The reason I ask what the hell is due to the fact that this record was released in 2000; this should have been done a long time ago, yet I digress
The Murder City Devils hailed from Seattle and they play rock, and it's fucking good. I should just be able to end there and it should be reason enough for you to go buy this record, but you know that things just don't work that way here, so, moving on... The record starts out with "Press Gang," and this is possibly one of the best tracks they had ever recorded in their career. It's dark, loud, abrasive, and just pure balls out rock. They follow it up with "I Drank the Wine," and then it just keeps moving on from there without losing its momentum, for the most part. It stops right in the middle with "I'll Come Running," one of the most romantic, whiskey-tinged songs I think I have ever heard, and a great way to end the A-side of the record.
They then pick it right back up with "Demon Brother" and don't stop 'till the end, and a glorious end at that. Spencer's lyrics contain a fair amount of underground imagery, but it's presented so smart and so stylisticly witty it's amazing to think how many ways he can turn a phrase about drinking and heartbreak into so many amazing ballads.
If you ever got the chance to see these guys, you saw them in their truest form. Spencer and his gang were in no way a studio band. What you hear in this is something that's too clean to be the Murder City Devils, too cut and dry, so some people miss out on why they are so special. But when they hit the stage, they hit it, floor and all, missing notes, cracking voices, organ beats off, yelling at the audience -- that's what the Murder City Devils were. While this album is a glorious testiment of what they had, it still does not give the listener the justice they deserved.
They make up for this with an amazing insert of the band and roadie, Gabe, sliced, diced and served up quite nice. It's a proper portrail of the way you feel after listening to them, guts out and ears bleeding from the sheer velocity of it all. It's a shame these guys are no longer, because it would definitely be nice to have then serve a nice bottle of shut the fuck up to the current wave of "dark" bands we have parading around in eyeliner and bulletproof vests nowadays, because that vest won't save you from a nice shank in the side with a switchblade.