City Slang: Weekly music review roundup
Remember – if you send it, it will get reviewed. That’s the City Slang promise. It doesn’t matter what genre the music is – as long as it has a Metro Detroit connection, it’ll get in. Preferably, we’d like to concentrate on new releases but, while we’re 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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
The latest live LP issued by local label / collective Motor City Special is the perfect way to kicks things off this week. As the title clearly states, it is Recorded Live at PJ’s Lager House Detroit, and it is absolutely spectacular. Four of our fave live bands from the past couple of years rub shoulders and nobody lets anybody down. Bars of Gold are insane and ferocious. Dutch Pink are just as raucous in their own way, the schitzo blues rockers kicking ass won the two songs on this beautiful purple vinyl. Side features the Ruiners, and the sleave punks are doing what they do best – partying hard on a stage. Finally, the sadly-defunct Chapstik are at their sludgy, heavy-as-shit best. Hell of a record.
Speaking of Chapstik, before they went away, they put out two 45s, sent them our way, and then fucked off. A bit rude. To be honest, we’re just a bit bitter because it’s a fucking waste. These two gems prove it. Grate Americans features a title track that makes hardcore punks Amen sound silly, while the b-side is an amazing cover of the White Stripes’ “Girl, You Have No Faith in Medicine” that might make old Jack shit his shorts. The second disc is a split 7”. Chapstik’s “Threatened With a Hammer” is heavy, angry, and everything that the band ever was. Against the Grain’s “Run” is fast, exhilarating, and punk in all the right ways and places.
The Detroit Ditch Diggers’s Dig it Deep (self-released) is fun little album, chock full of bluegrass-y, folky country. It’s raw and ragged, honest and earthy, and it’s beautifully performed. There isn’t a minute wasted.
Mellow Bravo’s self-titled debut is the latest release from Small Stone, and it’s a killer. Imagine the Black Crowes with Damaged era Black Flag Henry Rollins on vocals. Or maybe Lemmy’s punky cousin. Or Phil Lynott at an Exploited convention. Either way, it’s hard-riffing blues rock, and it’s awesome. Not a bad song on this disc.