R.I.P. (Sub Pop)

Murder City Devils 

R.I.P. (Sub Pop)

The Murder City Devils weren't out to save rock and roll or revolutionize the music industry, which is good, because in its five tumultuous years of existence the group never came close to achieving either goal. However, it did add a much-needed dose of sloppy, amphetamine-fueled adrenaline to the late-'90s alt-rock scene. A punk band with a metal heart, the Devils attracted an unusual mix of headbangers and horn-rimmers who'd normally never be caught slumming at the same show.

R.I.P. documents the group's final concert, held in its Seattle hometown on Halloween 2001. Delightfully, the Devils died as they lived, and R.I.P. captures a typically ragged performance, replete with drunken between-song banter, blown notes, forgotten lyrics and more unsolicited feedback than a group-therapy session. The set list spans the band's recording career, with an emphasis on material from its final EP, the surprisingly accessible Thelema. Bespectacled yowler Spencer Moody was in rare form, his sandpaper roar splitting the difference between Jim Morrison and Glenn Danzig. Longtime fans will savor two previously unreleased numbers, including "Grace That Saves," the final song the band played together. One of the more strident live units of its era, the Devils deserve this fitting eulogy.

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