City Slang: Weekly music review roundup

September 25, 2012
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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 mt.cityslang@gmail.com.

The Ruiners’ second album, Shake Rattle & Moan (Funky D) has been produced by Howling Diablos man Tino Gross, and that is to the enormous benefit of the band. The debut album, 2010’s Happy Birthday Bitch, while by no means a horrible record, failed to capture the band’s live energy, the Ruiners’ greatest asset. That has been put right here. This is a dirty, sleazy, stunning little rock ’n’ roll album, thanks to Gross basically recording it live in the studio. Every song sounds amazing. For the sake of full disclosure, I wrote the sleeve notes to this record but, as always, I meant every word.

Amy Gore & Her Valentines’ debut album, In Love (Space Lion), is another absolute cracker (man, this is a great week). Gore, along with Jackson Smith, former Von Bondie Leann Banks and drummer Smokin’ Joe Leone, has been playing anywhere and everywhere over the past couple of years since the band formed, and most of the songs on here have been in the set for a good while so they’re very familiar. That doesn’t dampen the thrill though – power rock ’n’ roll tunes like “You Won’t Lead Me On”, “Static” and “Diana” sound great on record. Gore has put her name to some great music in the past with the Gore Gore Girls and Gorevette, and this album is right up there with the best.

Eleanora’s Some Happy Accidents is yet another beauty. Shit, it’s almost too much. Here we have some stunningly poignant and just plain beautiful alt-folk, blessed with some gorgeous female vocals, harmonized no less, and some majestic musicianship. The whole album is like a trippy daydream, or maybe a ‘60s film score to some underground movie. There’s a welcome bohemian feel. Great stuff.

The Mother of God dudes describe themselves as “rock/stoner/grunge” from Sweden, and their Anthropos album, the latest from Small Stone Records, bears this out. The vocals are very Chris Cornell-esque, the guitar is fuzzy in an almost-Stooges way, and the whole album is heavy as fuck. It’s great to hear the band sing in Swedish for “Graenslandet”.

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