Empty Bottles, Broken Hearts
Artist: the Murder City Devils
Release Date: 1998
Label: Sub pop Records

Track listing

  1. I Want a Lot Now (So Come On)
  2. Dancin’ Shoes
  3. 18 Wheels
  4. Left Hand Right Hand
  5. Ready for More
  6. Cradle to the Grave
  7. Dear Hearts
  8. Hey Sailor
  9. Johnny Thunders
  10. Stars in Her Eyes
  11. Another Round on You
  12. Every Shitty Thing

One of the cool things about this album is the title. I know, “officially” it’s called Empty Bottles, Broken Hearts, but on the album, and in the liner notes, and everything else, it has the title Broken Bottles, Empty Hearts just as many times, and in the opposite locations. I thought that that was very cool.

Naturally, the Murder City Devils pour the standard whiskey-drenched rock on thick, starting with the first tracks. But it’s not just more of the same. They’ve got songs about former rock legends, and how they died like a rock star should (Johnny Thunders), and songs about B movies that can scare the crap out of you (Left Hand Right Hand). Not to mention drinking songs galore.

Standout Tracks

1. I Want a lot Now (So Come on) - "Livin's no good across the lake from the city; don't want to live there anymore. Take your dads car and go to the city, just like last week and the week before." This album basically sets the mood, and tells you what they're about. When boozing and hanging out with the same old friends gets old, you go out to the rock show. Not because you want to, but because you know you'll regret it if you don't. It's a rocking song that will get asses moving, fast.

2. Dancin' Shoes - "I've got my dance shoes on, and I feel allright. You got your black dress on, and you're looking allright." If the first song didn't get people dancing and drinking, this song will. It has the word dancing in the title, for chrissakes.

5. Ready For More - "Well it's hard To be smart when you're young, And I don't care where we go because, things are going well. The show was bad but the drinks are free and I don't know what city I'm in, but there's no where I'd rather be...Now I'm subtle; Subtle like a t-rex. And I haven't even started yet. One week of the road. One week of the road and I'm already wrecked." What a good tune. The beat of this song is just right for dancing, drinking, yelling, fucking, fighting, and everything else that rock stars do. Songs about being on the road, that is one genre that Murder City specializes in.

11. Another Round on You - "And their buyin' us drinks and their givin' us winks. Say i'll see you at the top boy. And their buyin' us drinks and their givin' us winks. Next rounds on you." At last. A song about sticking it to the man. It wouldn't be punk rock without it. But notice how the Devils do it. Instead of spitting the man in the eye, they just keep having him pick up the bill for their booze, and say "Maybe next time." Also, the prelude to the Chorus is "Nate's pissing of the tenth floor." That's pretty cool in itself.

I love this album not just for my own selfish reasons, though. First, My sister came back from her first semester of college and told me about them. She usually has good taste, so I bought this disc, and listened to it. It reaffirmed my belief that she has the ability to smell good music from miles away. Second, that summer, I brought it to a party and took put it in the CD changer. This disc was quite a change from the usual DMX and Jay-Z being played at these functions. It turned some heads. It got people rocking. And, once I showed them the album cover with the switchblade on it, they were hooked.

If rock n’ roll were a religion, this album would be its promotional pamphlet.

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