The Murder City Devils
Unlike most punk acts of the '90s who travel along punk/pop and alternative ways of the rock genre, the Murder City Devils choose to stay in control of their riffs. Keeping a strong presence of simple features of pure rock & roll, the Devils finish up showing clean yet raw compositions, supposedly connecting them to the punk style. It was in Washington in 1997 that vocalist Spencer Moody, guitarist Dan Galluci, bassist Derek Frudesco, drummer Coady Willis, and Nate Manny (guitar, bass) ended up forming the Murder City Devils. Coming from bands such as Area 51, the reunion soon proved to be fruitful when the crew released their first singles, "Three Natural Sixes" and "Dance Hall Music." Less than a year after, the Die Young Stay Pretty label, an imprint of Sub Pop Records, decided to sign on the Seattle team. In 1998, Murder City Devils, their eponymous debut, hit the record stores. The results were surprising enough to justify the group's move to the catalog of Sub Pop. Working with producer Jack Endino, they kept on rocking with the album Empty Bottles, Broken Hearts in 1999, before entering an extensive tour that took them all over the U.S. and to Canada. Before the tour, keyboard wizard Leslie Hardy, previously with Hole, joined the team, thereby solving the organ problem, which was until then a shared instrument by Frudesco, Manny, and Galluci. Supporting the album on the road for almost a year, the Devils then decided to take a break.
MCD entered the studio with John Angello in 2000 and emerged with In Name and Blood, an album that fleshed out the band's Dead Boys fascination by depicting each member as the victim of a different heinous murder. The Thelema EP followed in 2001; it included some minor-chord textures and a folk-ish number called "364 Days" that was a significant departure from Moody et al.'s normally raging death punk. But the growth would be fruitless, as the Devils broke up a few months later with an incendiary farewell to their hometown crowd on Halloween night 2001. Frudesco went on to form Pretty Girls Make Graves, while Moody, Manny, Willis, and infamous MCD hanger-on Gabe formed Dead Low Tide with ex-Godhead Silo bassist/singer Mike Kunka. But that union was short-lived. After only nine months and the recording of one album, Dead Low Tide called it quits. Moody then began a collaboration with former 764-HERO guitarist John Atkins. In April of 2003, Sub Pop released R.I.P., a recording of the Murder City Devils' final Halloween performance. ~ Mario Mesquita Borges & Johnny Loftus, All Music Guide
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