City Slang: Weekly music review roundup
Remember â if you send it, it will get reviewed. Thatâs the City Slang promise. It doesnât matter what genre the music is â as long as it has a Metro Detroit connection, itâll get in. Preferably, weâd like to concentrate on new releases but, while weâre 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.
Sam Sherwin is undeniably a bit of an oddball. Like Roy Orbison, he doesnât seem to want to take his shades off and the Detroit native (now living in New York) has filled his album Iodine Cocktail Blues (Cowardly Lyinâ) with the sort of cabaret swinger-jazz-blues that should be nauseating. Thereâs a tongue-in-cheek quality about him, though, that gifts him with an unfathomable charm. Weird.
Flatland Starâs self-titled EP is fascinating. The band call what they do ârock hopâ, which seems to stem from the fact that there is rap and a live band involved. It doesnât really rock though, although it is awesome. I hear Bristol trip-hop (Massive Attack, Tricky and the like), plus a bit of Tribe Called Quest. Intelligent, sharp and well-produced, this is an outfit worth keeping an eye on.
Bebe Winans is a name known to anyone with even the slightest interest in gospel music. Part of the Winans family, this guy knows his stuff. America America (Razor & Tie) is his patriotic record, and man, is it ever patriotic. How you feel about big bands, long-held notes, and the basic notion of patriotism will dictate how you feel about this record. Winans sounds incredible as he wails through âStar Spangled Bannerâ, âWeâre the United States of Americaâ, âGod Bless Americaâ, âAmerica (My Country âTis of Theeâ and âAmerica the Beautifulâ. Spot the theme?
Shock Wave is a heavy metal band featuring high school students. I know, I know, I was worried too. Thing is, these guys actually fucking rock. There has been a tendency of late for young bands to focus on learning the technical aspects of their instruments and forget that theyâre supposed to be having fun. Fuck technical wizardry, give me a guy who feels what heâs playing. Shock Wave can write a tune that sticks, they can play, and, most importantly, they sound like theyâre having a great time. âBullet Trainâ recalls early G nâR. âHello LAâ should be called âFuck LAâ, as that place is a sewage pond (stick with the Motor City, fellas), but apart from that, Shock Wave have made a great start.