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.
Jeremy Porter & the Tucos’ new album, Partner in Crime (New Fortune), balances precariously on the line separating Americana and pop-rock. I say precariously – one minute they sound like the bastard children of the Deadstring Brothers, the next there’s more than a hint of Weezer about the trio. What’s key is that, whichever side of that line Porter and the boys land on, thee tunes are strong and the music is both well played and beautifully produced. Porter says that the album is, “full of lost love, regret, heartache and a little bit of desperation. I think the best art comes from pain and emotional trauma.” A song like “Wedding Day,” containing the line “did you think about me on your wedding day?”, conveys that very thing, though, thanks to the hooks, there’s somehow joy in Porter’s agony. Weird, but true.
The Ragbirds new album is a live one, We Belong to the Love. In February of this year during an interview for a City Slang feature in the Metro Times, singer Erin Zindle told us that the album was recorded at the end of September in two separate Michigan venues. “Of course, they’re not supposed to be perfect but there was so much energy in the room and so many people that truly love and support us, that we found it a fun experience,” she said, and that pretty much hits the nail on the head. The songs sound earthy and perfectly flawed, and the energy from the crowd is picked up beautifully. You can practically smell the sweat.
Legz Diamond & the Purple Gang’s 9 Pistolas (Psychopathic) is a way, way better album than we were expecting when we slid this disc in and pushed play. Legz Diamond has been appearing on albums by various Psychopathic Records artists for two decades, and now it’s his time to shine. Fuck me, is he making the most of his opportunity. There’s a ragged, semi-concept to the album, the subject matter centering around old school, prohibition-era gangsters, good weed and other shit that gangsters get up to. The thing is, the tunes are awesome; super-catchy and razor-sharp. Check this guy out.
A.S.S., featuring Brian Thomas of local metal veterans Halloween, has a record out called E.asy P.ieces of A.S.S. and, despite the fact that the band’s name doesn’t suggest that these guys are the smartest to have ever wandered the planet, the album is killer. Think classic Maiden, Dio and both Helloween and, obviously, Halloween. It’s metal, complete with operatic chorus’s and an overall feel of epic glory. Nothing wrong with that.