With In Blood and Name
, their recently released third album of howling hard rock/punk shock madness, Seattle's Murder City Devils cement their reputation for lovingly translating all the right kinds of influences into their own sonic maelstrom. From the Stooges' mallet-on-an-anvil thud to ? & the Mysterians' insistent Farfisa organ fills, the Devils have pitched their rock and roll tent in a campground somewhere between the manic energy of punk (without its shrill politics) and the blistering heat of good old-fashioned hard rock (without the rampant ignorance). And they're having one helluva good time. Formed in Seattle four years ago from the remains of a handful of punk bands, most notably Area 51, the Death Wish Kids, and the Cleavers, the Devils found a receptive ear at hometown punk indie Sub Pop, and the band was signed to the label's newly created Die Young Stay Pretty rock imprint for its eponymous full length debut (the band had previously released a couple of EPs on Empty and Hopscotch Records). The Devils' hybrid hard rock/punk garnered much critical acceptance, earning the band favorable comparisons to everyone from the Stooges to the Dead Boys to the Cramps. After three full albums, the second one being 1998's Empty Bottles Broken Hearts
, and a handful of EPs and 7-inches, the Murder City Devils have not changed their approach one bit. In Blood and Name
is just as relentless as its predecessors, and the Devils' live presentation is just as sonically and emotionally concussive as it was when it was closer in time and distance to its punk roots.