Monday, May 7, 2012

So You're Listening To... Empty Bottles Broken Hearts by The Murder City Devils

For a brief period of time The Murder City Devils owned rock and roll... at least in my mind. My first listening experience happened while driving in the parking lot of the Oceanside Mall with two of my girlfriends, one of them put "18 Wheels" on the stereo and I was just a goner. It was all over. I was hooked. Fan for life over here. Empty Bottles Broken Hearts was released in 1998 and I started listening to The Murder City Devils circa 1999/2000. I am always an unintentional Johnny-come-lately to things (I blame it on the less advanced internet of that time period) and the band broke up late 2001.  I had been a fan of punk, hardcore and indie music for a while and since the town I grew up in was so small- scene overlap was pretty common and everybody was into everything. There was just something about The Murder City Devils that just struck a chord (pun intended) with me.

The Murder City Devils are a fairly divisive band, I haven't met many that are on the fence about them- you either love 'em or you hate 'em. While I celebrate their entire catalog (bonus points for the Office Space reference- can you tell I spent years quoting movies with band dudes?), Empty Bottles Broken Hearts was the album that made me fall in love. From start to finish, it will make you want to dance with a stranger at a truck stop or just swill a glass of dirty smokey whiskey. In my ever growing list of songs I'd dance to if I were a stripper, "Dear Hearts" and "Stars In Her Eyes" are always at the top.

Clockwise (L to R):
 Mermaid Bottle Opener / Patina
Gold Rush Jean Jacket / Madewell
Black Monochrome Chuck Taylor / Converse
Striped Open Knit Sweater / Splendid
Under the Black Flag: The Romance and Reality of Life Among the Pirates by David Cordingly
Round Shape Anchor Earrings / Romwe
Stay All Day Waterprood Liquid Eye Liner Pen in Intense Black $20 / Stila
Rouge Artist Intense Lipstick in #46 / Make Up For Ever

Although I'd say that In Name And Blood was a significantly and literally more pirate and nautical vibed- with this band it's a theme that cannot be escaped. Up until recently the lead singer owned a junk-shop in Seattle called the Anne Bonny- Anne Bonny was one of the most famous and feared female pirates of all time. Spencer Moody's vocals ooze liquor, salt water and plank walking. The sound of the organ that permeates throughout adds a second layer of beauty to top off all of the grit. I remember getting legitimately into maritime history because I felt so inspired by my feelings of pirateness. Back in the day- I'm pretty sure I lived in denim jackets and striped shirts. I can't help but want to put on my beloved Murder City Devils whenever I've got an anchor adorning an outfit or my monochromatic black chucks on. Nostalgia aside, if you like classic crooner punk like the Misfits and quirky dirty rock like Iggy Pop- you have to give The Murder City Devils a listen.

I know that I'm a forever fan. I'll be at all of their burn-out take-your-money-and-run tours trying not to have an asthma attack from the cloud of cigarette smoke that always seem to follow both both the band and their fans.

1 comment:

  1. i have not listened to the murder city devils in AGES...... thank you for this post, now i know exactly what i need to jam out to while i clean my completely in disarray apartment this evening and feel energized and happy.