City Slang: Weekly music review roundup
Remember ‚Äď if you send it, it will get reviewed. That‚Äôs the City Slang promise. It doesn‚Äôt matter what genre the music is ‚Äď as long as it has a Metro Detroit connection, it‚Äôll get in. Preferably, we‚Äôd like to concentrate on new releases but, while we‚Äôre getting warmed up here, feel free to send back catalog material too. Send CDs, vinyl, cassettes, demos and 8-tracks to Brett Callwood, City Slang, Metro Times, 733, St. Antoine, Detroit, MI 46226. Email MP3s and streaming links to email@example.com.
Frustrations live up to the name because I couldn‚Äôt find a decent image of the art to their stunning new Negative Reflections (X Records) anywhere, and my scanner isn‚Äôt big enough to scan LP sleeves. That said, it is a wonderfully messy album, and I love vinyl so they score points there. It‚Äôs arty, garage-y punk rock that assaults the senses and sounds much like the musical equivalent of Edvard Munch‚Äôs ‚ÄúThe Scream‚ÄĚ. That is a good thing, by the way.
Battlecross are a Detroit-based old school metal sounding band that recently signed with the national Metal Blade records label. I reviewed the band‚Äôs single a couple of weeks ago, but the Pursuit of Honor (Metal Blade) album is phenomenal. Heavy, powerful and intense, songs like ‚ÄúMan of Stone‚ÄĚ and ‚ÄúLeech‚ÄĚ grab you by the back of the neck and shake you until you like it.
Ritual (Metal Blade) is the new album from the Black Dahlia Murder, and it‚Äôs stunning. Read the City Slang column in this week‚Äôs Metro Times to see what the band has to say, but this record sees the band grow beyond the death metal / grindcore trappings they were stuck in before. Strings, monstrous grooves, it‚Äôs all here. Enjoy.
Illy Mack‚Äôs Squirrels (Five Three Dial Tone) is the most recent single from the alt-rockers led by Jennifer David, and it‚Äôs a four-track beauty. ‚ÄúI‚Äôm talking with squirrels ‚Äėcoz they understand,‚ÄĚ sings David in the lead track. I know what she means too ‚Äď there‚Äôs something about those bushy tailed bastards.
Darling Imperial is playing its last ever show (at least for now) at the Berkley Front on August 13, and to celebrate they sent City Slang their two EPs for a retrospective listen. Got to be honest ‚Äď I saw this band at the Blowout opening party at the Magic Stick earlier this year and wasn‚Äôt taken with them. However these two EPs, I Know Everyone You Know (self-released) and Takotsubo (self-released), the latter released late last year, are very cool in a sassy indie pop sort of way. The tunes are present and correct, and there‚Äôs a swagger to the band‚Äôs sound that will be missed. Guys, how do you pronounce ‚Äúreunion‚ÄĚ?
Ryan Dillaha‚Äôs Love Alone (self-released) album sees the Ferndale resident exploring some authentic and rootsy Americana country stuff. Best of an impressive bunch is ‚ÄúDetroit City‚ÄĚ, a bitter-sweet ode to Dillaha‚Äôs hometown.
Every Avenue‚Äôs Bad Habits (Fearless) sees the band moving forward full steam ahead with their Vans-approved pop punk career. Getting signed to Fearless Records won‚Äôt have hurt them, and the fact that they‚Äôre in Alternative Press magazine just about every month won‚Äôt do them any harm either. It‚Äôs easy to see why, too. The songs are radio-friendly, over-produced and almost sickeningly slick, and yet they‚Äôre just so easy to like. No challenge, no attitude, but plenty of melody and some heart.
It‚Äôs a shame that Rick Braun isn‚Äôt from Detroit (he‚Äôs from Allentown Pennsylvania but signed to local label Mack Avenue Records), because the area is crying out for a cool, Tony Bennett style crooner. We‚Äôll have to adopt him and make do for now, because Sings With Strings (Mack Avenue) is the perfect music to hear live in one of our casinos. Sweet, cool as hell and, yes, seductive, there will never be an era when this music isn‚Äôt ok.
Glitter Trash are the sort of band that every city needs to add color and sleaze to the scene. Like Detroit‚Äôs own Wayne / Jayne County & the Electric Chairs, Glitter Trash bends genders with glee. The Wreckage (Homeless Ramblings) album isn‚Äôt musically brilliant by any means; in fact, it‚Äôs badly produced and the songs are, well, not bad. But the band is fun and filthy. Undoubtedly better live than on disc. However, they did manage to force me to spill bits of confetti all over my carpet by packaging some loose with the CD. Fuck.
Quick note ‚Äď it‚Äôs not local, but Blondie‚Äôs new Panic of Girls (Five Seven) album is their best since the reformation. It‚Äôs not Parallel Lines, but there‚Äôs a lot of great stuff on there.