After delivering a killer set while opening for Pearl Jam during the first stages of its Yield tour, the Murder City Devils are readying to draw another chalk line around the corpse of bloated indie rock with their sophomore album, "Empty Bottles, Broken Hearts," which arrives in stores this week.
Formed out of an amalgamation of several Seattle hardcore bands, including Area 51, Death Wish Kids, and the Unabombers, the Murder City Devils -- featuring vocalist Spencer Moody, guitarists Nate Manny and Dann Galucci, bassist Derek Fudesaco and drummer Coady Willis -- began kicking out their rock & roll homicide in November 1996.
Within a year, the Devils had already released a self-titled indie debut featuring the band's sonic mix of sharp punk riffs and droning Farfisa organ. But it was the band's frenetically paced, in-your-face live shows that led the Devils to sign to the hometown label Sub Pop, which helped launch the careers of Nirvana and Soundgarden.
the beginning," said drummer Coady Willis, "our music has been a response to the indie-rock ego corps that had really overrun the Seattle scene in the last few years. Bands seemed bashful about being onstage and audiences didn't seem to have any fun at shows."
In addition to sharing a collective musical heritage of such Northwestern bands as Modest Mouse and Mudhoney, the Devils also, in fact, share some common members -- Devils guitarist Dann Gallucci also plays in Modest Mouse -- and some common themes.
On one of the tracks from "Empty Bottles" entitled "Left Hand Right Hand," the Devils pound out a tribute to the classic Robert Mitchum film, "Night of the Hunter," borrowing its title from the tattoos that Mitchum's character had etched onto his knuckles. But on the same day the Devils' album arrives in store, fellow Seattle band Mudhoney will release their own new record, "Tomorrow Hit Today," which features yet another song about the film, "Night of the Hunted."
"Totally a coincidence," laughs Willis, "but it's kinda weird, y'know. But there's certainly no cultural identification with the film and say, the Seattle. [Vocalist] Spencer Moody came in the day after watching the film and with these lyrics he was inspired to write and we built it up from there. But it was funny to see Mudhoney's record, and think, 'Hey, wait a second.'"
The Murder City Devils have recently tapped Leslie Hardy, from another local group, Love's Laughter, to play keyboards on the band's upcoming tour, which kicks-off on Friday in Portland.
Other dates for the Murder City Devils' winter tour:
- 9/25 - Portland, @ EJ's
- 9/26 - Wilmington, CA @ PCH Club
- 9/27 - Los Angeles, CA @ The Garage's Club Sucker
- 9/28 - San Francisco, CA @ Cafe Du Nord
- 10/2 - Seattle, WA @ Breakroom
- 10/3 - Bellingham, WA @ Double Wide
- 10/4 - Vancouver, BC @ Picadilly
- 10/27 - Missoula, MT @ Jays Bar
- 10/30 - Minneapolis, MN @ 400 Club
- Columbia, MO @ University of Missouri
- 11/1 - Chicago, IL @ The Metro
- 11/2 - Detroit, MI @ Magic Stick
- 11/3 - Cleveland, OH @ Speak In Tongues
- 11/4 - Rochester, NY @ Bug Jar
- 11/5 - New York, NY @ Baird College
- 11/6 - New York, NY @ CMJ Music Marathon
- 11/10 - Middletown, CT @ Wesleyan University's West Co Cafe
- 11/11 - New York, NY @ Under Acme
- 11/12 - Philadelphia, PA @ Bryn Mawr College
- 11/13 - Columbus, OH @ Bernies
- 11/14 - Cincinnati, OH @ Buzz Coffeeshop
- 11/15 - Jeffersonville, KY @ Sound Stik
- 11/17 - Fayetteville, AR @ Clunk Music
- 11/18 - Baton Rouge, LA @ Bayou
- 11/19 - Austin, TX @ Liberty Lunch
- 11/20 - Houston, TX @ Fitzgeralds
- 11/22 - San Antonio, TX @ Reverb Lounge
- 11/24 - Albequerque, NM @ Launchpad
- 11/26 - Los Angeles, CA @ Al's Bar
- 11/28 - San Francisco, CA @ Bottom Of The Hill