Reviews for the easily distracted

Melissa Bryan

Return of the Woman

Rock Haus Records

3½ Stars


Riffing: This girl's hittin' it for sainthood, working a real-world gig advocating for victims of domestic violence. She was weaned on Leif Garrett, girlish fright wigs and teen-boy power riffs. 


Reference points: Best line ever: "Street walkin' cheater"! 


If you like: Overcoming overwhelming physical odds for song, the Muffs, Girls Rock Camp, Best Coast, the Zeros, girl-groups, Lou Reed's "Rock 'n' Roll," Dead Boys and bronoodlin'! ...   

Falling in Reverse

The Drug in Me is You


½ Stars

Riffing: AutoTune bombast rock led by joyless chirper Ronnie Radke, the Nikki Sixx-coifed ex-con (boring: drugs, parole violation; fucked up: battery charges, outer-circle involvement in some kid's murder), once of Escape the Fate. 


Reference Points: Kohl-eyed dudes who like jock sports. White noise power-chording and ersatz emotional responses that summon images of Vegas suburbia, Warped Tour day-drunks and Hot Topic closeouts. Nice.


If You Like: What old Sixx would sound like if he were 25 years younger

Smoking Popes

This is Only a Test

Asian Man Records

4½ Stars

Riffing: Johnny Ramone-y downstrokes buffer a croon that's not unlike Gene Clark (!?) or Morrissey. 


Reference Points: Sad as snow-covered bicycles and late-night train whistles but snaps and pops like banana bubblegum in the maw of a moody high school cheerleader. 


If You Like: Teary-eyed punk, pre-'79 Cheap Trick 45s, suburban outsider melancholy, Akaline Trio, balding dudes and bittersweet melodies over Buzzcockian riffola. Also, Herculean indie comebacks and the Clash's "Stay Free." 

Gabe Dixon

One Spark


2 Stars


Riffing: Light, untroubled piano-guitar pop for Starbucks moms and dads whose college dorm rooms stocked Crowded House and Everything but the Girl albums. But if "Even the Rain" gets featured in a hybrid car TV ad, it'll still be a beautiful song. 


Reference Points: Dixon's absolutely in love with his wife and he's man enough to sing about it. 


If You Like: Alison Krauss, Dylan's kid, pre-fat Paul Simon, fat-era Elton John. 



Keep This Love Goin'


3 Stars

Riffs: "Here I Am" is early Beatle beauty, "Boozoo and Leona" a hit in a proper world, "The Animal Life" is pure power pop. 


Reference Points: The most respected band in the world that never sold any records; storied history now finds original piano man Terry Adams still standing. 


If You Like: Earlier NRBQ, rock shows with a lawn for sitting, Weezer, Sky, Brendan Benson, Brinsley Schwarz, Big Star, Dave Edmonds. Music no one can make anymore.


More by Brian Smith

Best Things to Do In Detroit


Never miss a beat

Sign Up Now

Subscribe now to get the latest news delivered right to your inbox.

© 2016 Detroit Metro Times

Website powered by Foundation