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 » The Top 30 Albums of 2010 - Fashionably, fabulously late, our favorite music (and believe me, there was a LOT) of 2010, the year that some have called the best year for music ever. And only some of those fools work here. Plenty of usual suspects, lots of ties and a few surprises that I won't spoil, including our unexpected #1.
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 » Live: Surfer Blood/The Drums at Lincoln Hall, Chicago, IL - Remember when Weezer used to put together records that you could sing along to and rock out to? That's what Surfer Blood's show was like!
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Music Reviews

Screaming Females - Castle Talk
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Castle Talk
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Robyn - Body Talk Pt. 1/ Body Talk Pt. 2
Body Talk Pt. 1/ Body Talk Pt. 2
The Walkmen - Lisbon
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Fat Possum
The Murder City Devils
Sub Pop Records

Rating: NR/10 ?

October 1, 2004
This is the final opus. This is the death throe. This is the final documentation of Seattle's Murder City Devils, who have all gone on to other, and perhaps greater, projects. Bass player Derek Fudesco launched Pretty Girls Make Graves shortly after the 2001 demise of the The Murder City Devils, and after a successful debut LP on Lookout, the band has signed to Matador. Spencer Moody (vocals), Nate Manny (guitar) and Coady Willis (drums) all went on to form Dead Low Tide, who are already on hiatus. Spencer also teamed up with John Atkins (formerly of 764-Hero) to play in the wonderfully horrible gimmick band the John and Spencer Booze Explosion. But all this happened after one final show at Seattle's Showbox Theater on Halloween night, 2001. What ensued was a goth/punk/alcohol/farfisa-laced excursion into the dark mayhem of rock and roll. Oh, and several good-bye pronouncements from the stage as well. The experience was recorded by the insatiable Phil Ek and has finally seen the light of day as the last will and testament of The Murder City Devils.

The Devil's forte has always been their ability to combine the abrasive and melodic elements of punk rock. Moody's feral howl leaps out from the grimy and oozing guitar riffs, farfisa and Moog tendrils curling all around them. The band chooses to play some new songs on this album ("Waltz", "Grace that Caves"), acknowledging that this is their last show and the audience may not be familiar with them. Andrea Zollo, singer for post-Devils band Pretty Girls Make Graves, joins the band to contribute some backup vocals on the song "Boom Swagger." Overall, the musical tone exists in a state of mushy and gruff rock'n'roll attitude with elements of mod, psychobilly and cracked blues thrown in for good measure. It's what the Devils did, for better or for worse.

Now, a disclaimer: I must add that a band's final live album might be better reviewed by one who consistently followed that band throughout the course of their career, instead of a sporadic listener like myself. But this more innocent perception perhaps allows a more unadulterated view of a band at their final and furious end, minus the references that are attached when you already know an entire catalogue in its recorded and perhaps best state. R.I.P. is an album for the hardcore fans of the Devils; it probably won't turn anyone else on to their legacy. As they end the show, feedback squealing from the amps like dolphins forced by the navy to locate mines, the Murder City Devils let the volume take control and end their career on an ear splitting high note.

Reviewed by Jonah Flicker
Jonah Flicker writes, lives, drinks, eats, and consumes music in New York, via Los Angeles. He once received a fortune in a fortune cookie that stated the following: "Soon, a visitor shall delight you." He's still waiting.

See other reviews by Jonah Flicker



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