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.
Chuck Burns, erstwhile power source behind Seduce, Speedball, the Universal Temple of Divine Power, the Shaky Jakes and more, has a solo album out, Gossip is the Devil‚Äôs Radio, and it might, just might, be the Detroit rock ‚Äėn‚Äô roll album of the year. It‚Äôs everything that you would expect from a Burns record, incorporating the different-ish styles of rock that he has played over the years in his many bands. It‚Äôs hi-octane, adrenaline-fueled, filthy rock ‚Äėn‚Äô roll. The low-brow art that adorns the cover influences the music, and the result falls somewhere between Motorhead, the Supersuckers and Talking Heads. The damn thing finishes, and you just have to push ‚Äėplay‚Äô again. Awesome.
Ethan Daniel Davidson‚Äôs Silvertooth (Seedsmen) is probably the best album of the guy‚Äôs musical career so far. Davidson has a fascinating story involving being part of a hugely successful family and balancing business with music. But that‚Äôs going to be featured in a City Slang in a couple of weeks so I won‚Äôt spoil it. Suffice to say (for now) that Silvertooth has elements of Tom Waits, Nick Cave and Leonard Cohen among many others. Davidson‚Äôs lyrics have improved dramatically. Great record, all round.
Ungrateful Daughter has a demo available, which main man Frank Woodman handed to me in a brown paper bag like it was a fifth of whiskey. I like that. It made the transaction seem unsavory. The four tunes on here, recorded live in Frank‚Äôs basement, are a killer combo of Sonic Youth and the dude‚Äôs old family band Woodman. Again, look out for a City Slang soon.
Lightning Love‚Äôs Blonde Album (Quite Scientific) is absolutely spectacular. The growth that this supremely talented band has displayed since its debut EP three years ago is stunning. Back then, we loved the simple pop hooks and Leah Diehl‚Äôs affected voice. All of that good stuff is still here too, but there‚Äôs so much more. Take a song like ‚ÄúI Know‚ÄĚ, for example. There elements of the lush orchestral brilliance of the Arcade Fire on here, and even a bit of the Beatles. Yes I said it, the fucking Beatles. Leah‚Äôs ability to comfortably open herself up on a song like ‚ÄúAwkward‚ÄĚ, to be completely honest and lay all those messy feelings down in the studio, is what separates Lightning Love from the many other indie pop bands that are out there. Lightning Love remains one of the very best bands to have come out of Detroit in the last decade, hell, the last two decades.