<body><script type="text/javascript"> function setAttributeOnload(object, attribute, val) { if(window.addEventListener) { window.addEventListener('load', function(){ object[attribute] = val; }, false); } else { window.attachEvent('onload', function(){ object[attribute] = val; }); } } </script> <div id="navbar-iframe-container"></div> <script type="text/javascript" src="https://apis.google.com/js/plusone.js"></script> <script type="text/javascript"> gapi.load("gapi.iframes:gapi.iframes.style.bubble", function() { if (gapi.iframes && gapi.iframes.getContext) { gapi.iframes.getContext().openChild({ url: 'https://www.blogger.com/navbar.g?targetBlogID\x3d13029567\x26blogName\x3dMurder+City+Devils.net\x26publishMode\x3dPUBLISH_MODE_BLOGSPOT\x26navbarType\x3dBLACK\x26layoutType\x3dCLASSIC\x26searchRoot\x3dhttp://murdercitydevils.blogspot.com/search\x26blogLocale\x3den_US\x26v\x3d2\x26homepageUrl\x3dhttp://murdercitydevils.blogspot.com/\x26vt\x3d1125043182665481085', where: document.getElementById("navbar-iframe-container"), id: "navbar-iframe" }); } }); </script><!-- --><div id="b-navbar"><a href="http://www.blogger.com/" id="b-logo" title="Go to Blogger.com"><img src="http://www.blogger.com/img/navbar/4/logobar.gif" alt="Blogger" width="80" height="24" /></a><form id="b-search" action="http://www.google.com/search"><div id="b-more"><a href="http://www.blogger.com/" id="b-getorpost"><img src="http://www.blogger.com/img/navbar/4/btn_getblog.gif" alt="Get your own blog" width="112" height="15" /></a><a href="http://www.blogger.com/redirect/next_blog.pyra?navBar=true" id="b-next"><img src="http://www.blogger.com/img/navbar/4/btn_nextblog.gif" alt="Next blog" width="72" height="15" /></a></div><div id="b-this"><input type="text" id="b-query" name="q" /><input type="hidden" name="ie" value="UTF-8" /><input type="hidden" name="sitesearch" value="oliviergerardin.blogspot.com" /><input type="image" src="http://www.blogger.com/img/navbar/4/btn_search.gif" alt="Search" value="Search" id="b-searchbtn" title="Search this blog with Google" /><a href="javascript:BlogThis();" id="b-blogthis">BlogThis!</a></div></form></div><script type="text/javascript"><!-- function BlogThis() {Q='';x=document;y=window;if(x.selection) {Q=x.selection.createRange().text;} else if (y.getSelection) { Q=y.getSelection();} else if (x.getSelection) { Q=x.getSelection();}popw = y.open('http://www.blogger.com/blog_this.pyra?t=' + escape(Q) + '&u=' + escape(location.href) + '&n=' + escape(document.title),'bloggerForm','scrollbars=no,width=475,height=300,top=175,left=75,status=yes,resizable=yes');void(0);} --></script><div id="space-for-ie"></div>


Mike DaRonco (AMG)

The inside fold out sets the mood for this album, as it's packed with gory photos of the band dressed up as murder victims. But without involving any gimmicks, the Murder City Devils just rock out to a gritty, nostalgic garage punk that looks up to the Dead Boys and Alice Cooper. The organ-synth adds to the haunting appeal of an already bleak, party-like presence that the Devils have had since day one. And with the drunken anthems of "Rum to Whisky" and "I Drink the Wine," the all-around results of In Name and Blood equal a dark-humored rock & roll extravaganza that's perfect for any Addams Family Reunion Special.

Michael Buchmiller (Hand Carved Magazine)

I suppose I’ll start with the negative first, and for no other reason than I’d rather start with this small gripe than have it as the last thing in my review for you to leave remembering. In the middle of the album there’s a Neil Diamond cover… “I’ll Come Running.” Don’t get me wrong, I love Neil Diamond (no, seriously, I really do) and it’s not a bad cover at all. Instead of doing it in the raw, gritty Murder City style one would expect, they stay fairly true to the original. And they even do it pretty well. But by track six, the album has so much momentum built up, and this song brings everything to a screeching halt. The listener gets whiplash. It would have been better if they’d put it as the last song, but honestly I think they should have left it off this full length completely and stuck in on a b-side of some 7”.

Now that I’ve gotten that out of the way, I can work on everything else. First things first… artwork. When someone picks up an album, the artwork is the very first thing they see. And whether or not they realize it, they are already passing judgements. I think artwork is much more important than most other people out there, and apparently so do the Murder City Devils. They went absolutely all out. Not only does it leave a lasting impact and evoke emotions, whether they are shock, curiosity, intrigue, confusion, fear, etc, but it also stylistically matches up with what the band does musically. The gist of it is vivid crime scene photos of each band members’ murder. The authenticity is chilling. I don’t want to get into describing the artwork too much, but let’s just say that I got a copy of the LP so I could see it three times larger. Oh yea, and it comes with a warning label for graphic content… something I haven’t seen before triggered by the artwork alone. My only initial complaint was that there are no printed lyrics, but they still managed to account for them, which brings me to my next point.

This is an enhanced CD. Usually that means nothing to me. Half of the time they don’t work or are too complicated. And sometimes when they do work, it was a complete waste of time… but not this one... not at all. When the CD is inserted into the disc drive, it automatically kicks in and rifles through tons of riveting, action-packed live footage still shots and various other colorful moments. If the pictures alone aren’t enough to make you want to check them out live, they were kind enough to include a live video/audio performance of the song “Bunkhouse.” Just from the first few opening guitar riffs of that song, you can tell it’s going to be a shout-along anthem, and they definitely don’t disappoint. There are also lyrics with accompanying sound bites for each track, a discography of their releases, links to their web sites, and acknowledgements. Before I go on, let me say that putting the lyrics on the CD-ROM part of the album instead of cluttering up the incredible artwork was a brilliant move. It’s the best of both worlds. All of these features on their own would have set the Devils a mile ahead of everyone else, but they took it even further by splicing in other gruesome crime scene photos from the band members’ deaths whenever you click on anything. It really ties everything together.

I spent a great deal of time on the last review I wrote for “Empty Bottles Broken Hearts,” so if you are completely clueless, go back and check out that one. For everyone else, I’m writing this assuming you have some idea of what they sound like. Since their last full length, their sound has definitely matured by leaps and bounds. The recording and production is much cleaner and crisper. The addition of Leslie Hardy on keyboard is the most obvious development. The first half of the album is saturated with organ-drenched melodies giving them that dark and eerie twist to their straight-up rock ‘n’ roll. A perfect example is the first track, “Press Gang.” Instead of just simple, one-note progressions standing out on top of the song like on previous releases, the organ is well intertwined in the song, resulting in a richer, fuller, more musically sophisticated style of rock. The organ is now built into the very foundation of the song and pretty much remains a constant throughout.

Some of the songs have slower tempos, but that’s not to say that the album is slower overall. Not counting the aforementioned Neil Diamond cover, “Fields of Fire” is probably the slowest song, but putting it as the last track on the album is sort of a nice way to end the listening experience. It’s the kind of song that leaves you feeling satisfied and at the same time makes you want to start the disc over from the beginning. The song “Rum to Whiskey” does a great job of starting off slower and luring the listener in before kicking it in to high gear.

The second half of the album, especially, is filled with raging anthems and impressive guitar. Guest guitarist Ron Heathman of the Supersuckers provides lead guitar on “Lemuria Rising,” reviving the hey-day of showcasing hot guitar licks without being too obnoxious or distracting.

Lyrically, Specner Moody continues to walk further down the dimly lit path he started down on the last album… lost loves, drinking, and life on the road. With such common themes in the rock genre over the years, one would expect the words to be trite and contrived, but I think he’s done an excellent job avoiding that pitfall. Lots of vivid and sometimes haunting imagery is used to evoke a wide range of reactions from sympathy to terror. Songs like “Press Gang” and “Bunkhouse” can also be seen as metaphors for social acceptance and tolerance. It wouldn’t be a true Murder City album without some mention of Cowboys, Sailors, and Truckers. Don’t worry, they are all accounted for.

Not only do the music and the words fit tightly together, but Spencer’s voice also ties in perfectly. His raspy, throaty yelling and moaning injects life into the songs and aligns with the dark, mysterious, and sometimes sinister image they’ve created. The sporadic werewolf howls also work beautifully… especially on “Bunkhouse.” After one or two listens, I’m sure you’ll be turning it up as loud as it will go and shouting right along.

Overall, this album is quite the complete package. From the artwork and enhanced portion of the CD to the songs and the music, the Murder City Devils have released an album that does not ignore a single aspect of artistry. Every part of the record making process and packaging has been addressed thoroughly and more important successfully, showing a dramatic improvement from their solid sophomore full length. They even offer a bonus track, a Misfits cover no less, on the LP version of the album. In my opinion, this album is not only a landmark in the Murder City Devils’ career, but also a benchmark of sorts for other bands to strive to achieve. If I only kept three albums that came out this year, this would definitely be among them. I can’t wait to see how they out-do themselves after this.

Clem Davis (Hit Session)

Psssstttt...hey music fan, wanna get in on the next big thing before everyone else? If you love punk rock, (anything from the Ramones to the Clash or Rancid) and are getting kinda tired of all of the new poseur punk (Blink 182) that is on the radio, check out the Murder City Devils, a Seattle band that sounds madder than a junk-yard dog that hasn't eaten for a few days and wants to take ten inches out of your hind-end.

What separates the Devils from anyone else are clever, uncluttered guitar melodies and the funeral-parlor sound of a Farfisa organ. Imagine a guitar attack similar to the best Bad Religion songs, but with a retro-organ melody running and out of the songs. The lead vocalist, Spencer Moody, shouts and yells out vivid tales of the wrongfully accused and dispossessed, as in "Press Gang," where a "victim of the press...a good man, a young man, he was like you, he was like me," is "hanging from the gallows...swinging in the breeze."

The word intense doesn't do this music justice. The 12 songs that make up In Name and Blood are all equally powerful and pissed-off, all indignantly flipping the "bird" in majestic punk-rock perfection. "Bunkhouse" is a mid-tempo tale that respectfully pays homage to the cowboys of the great west ("If you don't think that cowboys cry, then you've never heard a cowboy song." The anthem, "Rum to Whiskey," is dedicated to drinkers everywhere, and it's very easy to imagine seeing the Devils perform this tune live as the crowd shakes their fists in the air during the chorus. The Devils ease up a bit with the ballad, "I'll Come Runnin'," then kick us in the head with "Demon Brother" and "Lemura Rising,"

Just when I was beginning to think that commercialism was taking over even the most sacred form of rock and roll, PUNK, the Murder City Devils manage to set things right. You owe it to yourself to check this band out.

Michael Sandlin (Pitchfork)

(3.1 rating)
Question: where, exactly, does the Murder City moniker come from? Correct me if I'm wrong, but to my knowledge, there hasn't been a violent outbreak in Seattle since that overzealous Granola-muncher threw a brick through a Starbucks Coffee window in 1997. And why am I asking you? Like you know, or give a shit.

Well. The Murder City Devils are a gore-obsessed group of aspiring homicidal maniacs-turned-Computer-Age-sensitive hard-rockers-- not to mention the official spokespunks of the American Nightmare. They're also an image-conscious band of splatterpunk method actors hammering out riff-heavy generic punk-metal designed with the intent to inflict serious bodily harm. 'Course, if these songs caused even slight allergic reactions in lab mice, the world might be better off. Instead, the Devils force you to reconsider the worth of forgotten early 90s grungepuppies like Helmet and Alice in Chains. True, though, these phony prophets of urban apocalypse and doom do have their cute side. So, with that said, we'll proceed with a thorough autopsy of the bloodied, mangled stiff of the album that is In Name and Blood.

Singer Spencer Moody fuses the angry growls of Billy Idol, James Hetfield, Layne Staley, and the Cult's Ian Astbury into a single vocal amalgam that defies all logical possibilities of style appropriation and synthesis. The songs-- none of which are especially distinct-- all sport the same arrangements, chord progressions, and static tempos bumped along by clumsy drumkit-bashing. And, in a miraculous feat of economy, the Murder City Devils manage to squeeze out twelve 'different' songs from the same song. Even more amazing is how two guitar dudes riffing on the same heavy-duty power chords manage to sound like only one guitar dude riffing on heavy-duty power chords.

What are the songs about? Just what you'd expect: kindergartners overdosing on refined sugar, a baseball player's suicide by baseball bat, beheaded babies, fatal paper cuts, amateur sheep-shearing contests, and unwanted puppies being doused with gasoline and set ablaze. They document the Devil's handiwork on Earth during the last 2000 years: all the carnage, famine, war, bestiality, and abject human suffering you can possibly imagine.

That would be great wouldn't it? Sorry, kids. The lyrics are as harmless as a disgruntled school cafeteria lady wielding a gravy ladle. Just check out the gut-tearing sentiments of "Lemuria Rising": "I wish you could have been a fly on the wall/ When I was twelve years old/ I would slit my wrists if it weren't for rock n' roll," roars Moody. For further enjoyment, here are some more memorable Moody word-power moments: "She was the prettiest girl in an ugly town"; "Every time I put my oars in your water/ I do it for the sailors"; "You built a ship/ Put it in a bottle/ Then we watched it roll away." Uh, like, when do all the bloody entrails and gouged eyeballs come into play, guys?

I was shocked to learn that "Somebody Else's Baby" is not about a prison inmate whose wife just had another man's baby (see Merle Haggard). In reality, it's just another innocuous song about some dork getting dumped. As compensation, though, there's more mention of The Dark One on this record than in all of Ozzy Osbourne and Robert Johnson's output combined. And that's a lot of Dark One.

These poor doomed souls simply get bogged down in too much muddy sludge-rock-- not to be confused, of course, with that elusive phenomenon known as punk rock. Hence, In Name and Blood whips little-to-no ass. In fact, most of these songs don't rock much harder than "Rebel Yell," and many even seem to pay homage to it. Leslie Hardy's spooky Farfisa-toned organ does give the songs a certain camp-sinister "Munsters"-theme quality, I suppose. But the only time the Devils live up to their namesake and commit actual murder is with their irony-laced disemboweling of Neil Diamond's "I'll Come Running." The nugget goes to show that the band actually does have a sense of humor, and a damned clever one, at that. It's a totally fresh concept: crappy neo-metal band does awful cover of unlistenable easy listening song. Hilarious! Get in line behind Screeching Weasel, boys.

Conceptually, I'd say the Murder City Devils are pretty memorable. But the music? Well, I just finished listening to In Name and Blood about 10 minutes ago, and I've already forgotten what it sounds like. And that's pretty sad considering that I haven't even finished this review yet.

Max Sidman (Synthesis)

On In Name and Blood, the follow-up to Empty Bottle Broken Hearts, The Murder City Devils further establish themselves as the Northwest’s premier nitro-fueled rock ‘n’ roll outfit. This recording is huge-sounding, a grinding mixture of pure rock ‘n’ roll riffs, fist-in-the-air, heart-on-the-sleeve attitude and a songwriting consciousness has been developing nicely since the group first formed. Devils fans know and love the infectious sound, and newcomers can’t help but get caught up in the slightly retro, dynamic and driving songs that typify the group’s sonic emanations.

The most notable aspect of the music on the latest release is the full-time inclusion of Farfisa organ grinder Leslie Hardy, whose haunting ivory-tickling accents the music in a way that is truly unique. Farfisa licks spearhead tunes like "Press Gang," "Rum to Whiskey" and "Somebody Else’s Baby," and adds crucial backing on other tracks; the sound is sometimes out front, other times slightly buried in the mix, but is always an integral part of the overall package.

Fontman Spencer Moody provides lyrics, that, while far from cheesy and pathetic, are open and honest and speak of dark human weakness ("Idle Hands"), the power of rock ‘n’ roll ("Lemuira Rising"). Moody’s vocal style ranges from the classic rock ‘n’ roll caterwaul to a rough, yet surprisingly smooth croon; he even manages to pull off an obscure Neil Diamond cover ("I’ll Come Running"). The core of The Devils is a powerhouse rock band — percussion with conviction; riff-mongering, solo-squeezing rock guitar; thunderous, anchoring bass lines, and an overall charge that just can’t be outrun. In Name and Blood is quintessential Murder City Devils.

Mike Pace (Pop Matters)

With their Technicolor blood splattering and spooky organ, the Murder City Devils come off as the bastard spawn of the Stooges, the Misfits and vintage Hammer horror films, all rolled into a slickly congealed gob of easy-to-ingest rock 'n' roll. Born, bred, and bled in Detroit, the MCD have been steadily improving upon their tried-and-true, black-and-blue approach to garage punk, and with In Name and Blood, the band seems to be finding its niche.

The record begins with "Press Gang," a lovely dirge that spirals downward into the depths of death, which seems to be one of the few major themes running throughout the album, while others include killing, booze, the Devil, and graveyards. Most of the tracks are mid-tempo, minor-chord rants sprinkled with the enchanting Hammond B-3 work of Leslie Hardy adding just enough kick to the kitsch. Not unlike Rocket From the Crypt at times, minus their full-on party-band aura, the MCD have absorbed some of the campy aspects of the former group's image that made them so fun (or, some naysayers believe, led to their downfall) and could easily be fit on a double-bill with RFTC.

For the most part, the songs remain the same, which, for 37 minutes, is not terrible. The thrown-in Neil Diamond cover, "I'll Come Running," shows a little range for the Devils, yet not much reverence for the songwriter himself, arguably one of the greatest minds of his generation, and I'll argue that in any bar across this great nation of ours. The record sleeve handsomely showcases what appear to be police photos documenting each band member's bloody demise, and the CD-ROM multimedia presentation was a nice bonus discovered upon inserting the disc into my computer for some unknown reason.

All in all, there's a time and a place (which happens to be a little spot in hell where the embers glow crimson and Beelzebub keeps his record collection, which probably also includes a copy of Nick Lowe's The Jesus of Cool) for the Murder City Devils, barbed wire and Frankenstein bolt tattoos in check. To write this band off as a novelty act ala Green Jello would be something of a misnomer, and you should probably be killed for doing so. Enjoy this latest Sub Pop release.

Matt Bowman (Sponic Zine)

Seattle rockers Murder City Devils give nosebleeds a better name with esta record nueva. The packaging and liner notes, inserts, etc. give nosebleeds...the crime scenes give nosebleeds, et. al, without ever trying to solve some weird Northwest problem. The 12 song format is tried, true, and bitchin' when the songs are this drinkin', loud, and contain a somewhat lesser-known Neil Diamond song.

The album does suffer, however from a bland, uniform stereo production mix where the tones and volumes don't change. All things considered, nosebleeds are freaking great.

Alan Haworth (stankygroove)

Most of the country thinks Sub Pop records (Nirvana, Mudhoney) shut down after the bottom fell out of the music industry in the Northwest. Thankfully for real music fans, Sub Pop is alive and doing quite well with the Murder City Devils on its roster, and the NW scene is kicking well with bands like 764-HERO and the Red House Painters.

The Murder City Devils have a great name, which probably sells a few albums. But what got them a record deal was the 100mph guitar driven snot coming out of their Marshal stack amps at live shows. They may have a little blood on their sleeves from playing so damn hard. Rumor has it that they kicked Nashville Pussy's in a barroom brawl last year.

For fans of the SST punk movement in the mid-80s, who miss Black Flag and the Minutemen, then the Murder City Devils easily caulk the gap that was missing in three-chord rock. Hell, the singer almost copies Henry Rollins vocal style. The image and sound behind this band is like a white blues band for the 90s who joined Hell's Angels on vinyl.

Motorhead should sign these cats up for a headlining spot on their next tour.

Alex Steininger (In Music We Trust)

In Name And Blood finds the Murder City Devils once again advancing the state of modern rock 'n' roll as we know it. With the addition of Leslie Hardy on organ, the Murder City Devils rip through a set of eerie, haunting, jarring rock 'n' roll mayhem that will both frighten and thrill you.
The creepy organ intro of "Press Gang" quickly calls to mind dark, demented Goth music more than rock 'n' roll. But once that throaty growl of Spencer Moody hits, and the band's Goth-induced rock 'n' roll style comes pouring out, all labels are erased while the band delves deep in to rock 'n' roll.

"Bunkhouse" fly's right out of the gate with some thick, slicing guitars before the throaty, moody vocals and the haunting organ help fill out the sound and convert it from a hard rocker into a slightly Goth, all-out rock 'n' roll experiment.

"Rum to Whiskey" taunts you with a '77 style punk bass and vocal style, while the guitars shoot off into dirty rock riffs, and the organ keeps the Goth grooves present. "Lemuria Rising" hits you over the head with wild, out-of-control rock music that would fit perfectly into the 70's climate of the grimy rock club CBGB's. And "No Grave but the Sea" delivers more bash it out rock excitement sure to fire you up into a frenzy.

Beautiful organs drip throughout while the vocal's growl with charge and fury on top of the slashing guitars and the hard-knock bass lines. Wild, chaotic, and somewhat Gothic, the frightening sounds of the Murder City Devils come alive as they haunt and taunt you. I'll give it a B.

Dave Clifford (Alternative Press)

Like the moment of paranoia and remorse that strikes after committing homicide, the Murder City Devils' ominously snarling guitars, reeling Farfisa organ and rasped vocal yelp sound like a self-imposed death sentence. Of course, vocalist Spencer Moody's often guilt-ridden lyrical tales of excess, escape, doom and death help seal each song's bleak fate.

But even those of us who haven't (yet) committed murder will likely identify the corpus of the Murder City Devils' garage-punk sound. The most immediately apparent blood on the group's hands is drained from proto-punk forebears. Similar to Radio Birdman's powerful penchant for merging the aggressive rhythms of the Stooges with the melodic keyboard phrasing of the Seeds, the Murder City Devils are adept at balancing melody within the slashing, distortion-ravaged barre-chords of guitarists, Dann Gallucci and Nate Manny.

"Press Gang" starts In Name And Blood on the guitar-noir spiral as Leslie Hardy's haunting B-movie organ line heralds Coady Willis' lumbering rhythms, bassist Derek Fudesco's bludgeoning pulses and Moody's white-knuckle confession: "I knew him when he was breathing/…It could've been me/swinging in the breeze." Gallucci and Manny lunge into "I Drink The Wine" with a twin-guitar attack that'd do the Dead Boys proud as Moody's gritty screams harmonize with Hardy's soaring melody.

If it takes a worried man to sing a worried song, then the Murder City Devils prove with their frantic and incriminating punk that they have indeed sold their souls for rock 'n' roll.

Phillip (Delusions of Adequacy)

All hellfire and brimstone, the Murder City Devils unleash torrents of rye-soaked, blistering noise on In Name and Blood. Beaten along mercilessly by Leslie Hardy's warbling, drunken keyboard incantations, In Name and Blood will have you quickly reaching for a bottle of cheap booze, your lucky strikes, and possibly even some brass knuckles or a shiny new switchblade. This is bloodthirsty, lean punk to plot your next back-alley murder to.

Musically, these guttersnipes bite off sizeable chunks of early Iggy pop, the late, great Laughing Hyenas, and maybe even a bit of Fugazi and Unsane. This isn't just plagarism however - the Murder City Devils sound unlike any other punk band out there. With Spencer Moody's dangerously phlegmatic vocals clawing their way through thick, greasy walls of guitar, muscular bass and bone-jarring drums, the band possesses a fully realized sound all their own, one that breathes deeply of smoky roadhouse blues. Then there's that infernal organ - grinding, incessant waves of teeth-chattering intensity weaving their way maniacally through In Name and Blood's sinister tableau. Lyrically, the Murder City Devils draw from the Jim Thompson school of pulp fiction: a barrage of murder, jealous rage, train wrecks and rivers of ethanol fill out the narratives. Bukowski might have liked the Devils had he not been so enamored of classical music.

A telling moment occurred in the store I bought this in (in Burlington, Vt. of all places). A young punkette sporting a radioactive hue of red hair and lots of tatoos crowned the Murder City Devils "...the greatest band in the world..." I don't know about that, but this poisonous little record is one of the best things I've heard all year. Smart, furious, and tightly knit, these tatoo-encrusted deviants deserve their rye served up in only the finest crystal glasses.

Dennis Scanland (Music Emissions.com)

The Murder City Devils kick it up with their third full length, In Name and Blood. You know your in for some thrashings when you look at the album graphics complete with all the band members dressed up as murder victims. If you are completely unaquainted with this fantastic punk rock band then let me enlighten you. Lead singer, Spencer Moody is one of those vocalists that can spit out the lyrics like a junkyard dog. He is known for his charismatic stage show standing on drum kits and stirring up the audience into quite a frenzy. Leslie Hardy's organ and keyboard keeps the macabre feel alive throughout the album. The rest of the band kicks you in your ass until you shake it all over the floor. If you don't comply you will end up looking like one of the photos on the inside cover. Just another victim. There is also a very cool cd rom section on the disc so be sure and stick in your computer.

Fred Mills (Phoenix New Times)

Lord knows they must've had fun conceptualizing and executing the artwork for this CD. The fold-out booklet depicts various artifacts (a pistol and a switchblade, syringes, whiskey bottle, etc.) along with a raft of snapshots purportedly taken by a crime-scene examiner showing how each of the six Devils, plus one roadie, met a gruesome, blood-splattered end (according to the press kit, by hanging, stabbing, asphyxiation, blunt trauma to head, beating, gunshot wounds and "abdominal goring with broken bottle").

In like fashion, Seattle's most overlooked heavy garage outfit clearly had a bloody good time putting together the music. Not really gore-punkers, but clearly inspired on occasion by gory B-movies and mid-'70s proto-punk, the Murder City Devils' brand of old-school is potent, hook-crammed fun. "Idle Hands" harks back to the late, great Union Carbide Productions with its propulsive beat, descending guitar riff, dark organ drone, and the edge-of-hoarseness vocals from Spence Woody. "Demon Brother" is pure rawk convulsion, again marrying keyboards to guitars, the former churning manically and the latter's twin-ax assault slashing and stuttering like Keith Richards and Billy Gibbons in a cage fight. "In This Town" could be a long-lost Radio Birdman outtake, equal parts Motor City-styled skronk and gothic surf. "Bunkhouse" is Iggy Pop drunkenly attempting to navigate "Louie Louie" before a hostile crowd of rednecks and bikers. And the epic feel and sweeping anthemism of the closing number "Fields of Fire" suggest no less than a summit meeting of the Dead Boys and Blue Öyster Cult -- not a bad bit of generational straddling, eh?

The Murder City Devils may stand for a bygone era, that period during the '70s when it was still cool to have a lot of disparate influences unite under a shared banner of visceral, brainy hard rock, but it's pretty hard to imagine banner-wavers getting much in the way of props or respect these days. Other groups, such as the aforementioned Union Carbide Productions, have taken up the banner at various points in the past, usually to modest critical acclaim but diminishing returns at the box office. All the more reason to embrace the Devils and their kind. Because while fashion is ephemeral, classic rock 'n' roll style is forever.

Piero Scaruffi (Nude As The News)

Seattle's Murder City Devils, now shrunken to a six-piece, deliver another little gem of garage rock with In Name And Blood. Whether it's the band's growth, the new, improved keyboard contributions of Leslie Hardy and their gothic overtones, or drummer Coady Willis' powerful, acrobatic drumming, the album sounds like a Greek tragedy set to raw and wild rock and roll.

The mood ranges from depressed to desperate, kicking off with "Press Gang"'s desolate shout on baroque organ lines, picking up speed with "I Drink The Wine"'s loud, frantic and anthemic rave-up, venting sorrowful anger in the heroic chorus of "Idle Hands," abating in the tuneful dirge of "I'll Come Running" (their best ballad ever), rising like a Hawkwind gale in "Demon Brother," and soaring with suicidal teenage epos on "In This Town."

In so doing, the Devils bridge the gap between Pacific garage rock (Reivers, Sonics), Detroit's murder bands (MC5, Seattle) and Midwestern harcore (Laughing Hyenas). All of them, and a lonely poet drunk in a pub after midnight, too.

While not as compelling as the Devils' 1998 set Empty Bottles Broken Hearts, In Name And Blood is another inspiring dose of wild rock and roll for the evil-minded. Sure, we've heard these riffs and these refrains hundreds of times in the annals of rock music. It's the passion, the heart, the bleeding, that here gives them new meaning.

C.F. (Alarm)

I can’t think of a clever tag line to sum up how rock this CD is. So in your head imagine something like Bruce Springstein, the non-stop microphone harassment of Dan O’Mahoney, throw in some solid punk riffs and guitar leads, mix it up with energetic organs, then market it in a package complete with extremely graphic murder shots of each band member, add a few cool tattoos, and you’ve got the Murder City Devils. There’s really nothing to not like about this band. The artwork is interesting, cool shot of someone running on the cover – nothing captures the essence of punk rock better than a blurry someone running down an alley – and they’ve got a female band member. There’s so much ill shit flaunted on this CD, guns, cocaine, whiskey, knives, brass knuckles, murder, ashtrays, lucky strikes, bill knots, people hung to death, obscene amounts of blood, it’s hard not to laugh at what extent these guys will go to entertain. However, if you put all the imagery aside, they definitely hold there own with a nice take on punk rock.

(Invisible Youth)
To start off, this is a book to judge by it's cover. The artwork for this record blew me away. It's so freakin' gruesome that it helps set a great mindset for the listening experience. To state it simply, any band that stages their own murder scenes of the members on their band probably have something cool going on. And just as fitting, The Murder City Devils perform organ powered early '80s style punk with a perfect horror feel. The singer even has a touch of Glenn Danzig and Mike Ness in him that makes these eerie songs sound all the better. If you like theatrical punk rock with a devilish overtone, you'll love these guys.