Starting in 1997, The Murder City Devils mixed elements of Ian Curtis, Axl Rose, Johnny Thunders, Mike Ness and Tony Iommi to create a sullied, new rock 'n' raucous sound akin to the Swami Records crew in San Diego and the Touch & Go posse in Chicago. But such a combustible mix couldn't stay together long. So it ended, Halloween eve, 2001.
Two years later, Dead Low Tide emerged out of the ruins. Featuring three MCD members (and Gabe the Roadie), the band toured the U.S. for a few months, recorded an album's worth of material and disbanded nine months after they formed. To document their supernova existence they released a self-titled album, a gravestone forged in wax.
The record features the desperate, uneasy rants unique to singer Spencer Moody, backed by the thick riffs of Nate Manny and sustained by bassist Mike Kunka (the only non ex-MCD member) and drummer Coady Willis. The band sounds more muscular then anything MCD ever did, but the themes are the same the young, drugged and drunk warring against society, oppression, ignorance and other sordid filth.
Moody is angrier then before, which says volumes, but he sounds resigned, almost battle-weary. His acquiescence burns through on "White Flag" "So I'm going to button my lip/ I'm going to keep my mouth shut/ And I'm going to shut my mouth/ And I'm going to let the lawyers work it out/ And I'm going to raise the white flag."
Throughout the album, Moody is excruciatingly unhinged, singing in a soothingly crazy howl. Each song is drunk 'n' blind with anger, bitterness and aggression. A disillusioned middle finger is half-heartedly raised to the masses on "Purple Crimson and Lavender." He sings, "We are born into a world of mucky muck and filth and slime."
More rock then the gothic punk of MCD, the existence of Dead Low Tide answered the need of Moody, Manny and Willis to purge their system of too many days, weeks, months, years spent away from home, chasing ghosts, cash and rock 'n' roll.
Moody encapsulates it all on the last track "Shake and Slide": "But you're not authorized to alter the nature of time/ I never asked for days and years to pass/ They pass they pass/ Light and unseemly/ Shake and slide/ Expand collapse/ Shake and slide."