In The Red
The debut full-length from Detroit rock 'n' roll deconstruction crew Tyvek was a cacophony of half-baked far-out ideas, throwaway instrumentals and sloppy recording — it had all the unhinged zaniness that fans have come to expect from the band, but it was just too hard to digest. On Nothing Fits (their second full-length in two years and first release on garage-punk haven In the Red) the Tyvek guys are still acting like Stooges, but have homed in on their strengths and scrapped their wackier impulses for a more urgent and more straightforward punk sound.
The result is a record that is at once wilder and more focused than their debut. The jackhammer pace rarely subsides, nor does the intensity of Kevin Boyer's spazzy, shouted lyrics, but they don't need to; it's Tyvek at their best. While Nothing Fits may be a darker, angrier, record, fist-pumping "fuck off!" sing-along choruses and Tyvek's trademark humor — like the cat meows on "Animal" or the outer space outro on "Outer Limits"— manage to keep things from getting too, um, nihilistic. —Lee DeVito
We could almost use the old Kid Rock right now. As an alternative to hipster indie rockers who like irony almost as much as their PBRs, a filthy loudmouth who digs right-leaning Stetsons, rapping and shredding would actually be a breath of fresh musical air. Unfortunately, that Kid Rock is nowhere to be found here. Instead, we get the kinda-twangy mom-rocker who comes off as a complete softie next to someone like Brad Paisley, who has Rock beat in both wit and guitar-playing these days. Still, Born Free is tuneful, and it's surprising how fluid Rock sounds harmonizing over generic Skynyrd riffs in "God Bless Saturday." But in "Care," rapper T.I. is left mumbling in the background while Rock and country singer Martina McBride howl all over the song, which gives you an idea about how much Rock cares about a genre he used to be so strongly associated with. —Dan Weiss
FRIGHT FROM THE BINS
Hey Jude/Hey Bing! (1969)
So vinyl is hip with the kids nowadays, is it? Not all wax, whippersnapper. Just holding this mothball-smelling album feels as if you're trespassing through your grandfather's closet and are about to fall through a trap door that'll leave you alone and forgotten at 86 years old when you hit bottom. That's where you'll meet Der Bingle, who can't wait to show you what he's done to, er, Der Beatles! According to the liner notes, the studio musicians gave Mr. C. a standing ovation after completing these sessions. Maybe everyone was grateful the pipe-sucking crooner didn't insist on bleating the title cut for the full seven-plus minutes. Neither Bing nor his audience had that much time to spare, so the never-ending Fab Four hit clocked in here at a conservative three minutes, forty-seven seconds. Stopping the climactic "better better better better" segment dead in its tracks is Bing's incredible a cappella response — not the requisite "na na na na na na na" mind you, but "pum pum pum pum pum pum pum"! Leave it to Bing to find the link between the Beatles and "The Little Drummer Boy." And it is comforting to note that Bing would only have eight remaining earth years before he could personally ask the Almighty whether or not he created those persnickety "Little Green Apples," also featured on this round and black dust collector! Now fetch me a blanket because like Jude, Bing playing it cool has made the world a little colder. —Serene Dominic
It's too easy to be harsher than a shitfaced Kanye West here, and after a few listens it's obvious that a career built on high school heartbreak double entendres, boy-muses and signature blond-curls are the only things that aren't changing. So why should they? —Taylor Kane
My radio brings out the music in me
the hip hop, the soul / the rhythm in me
My radio brings out the groove in me
the rap, the drum in me
My radio brings out the Marvin Gaye
in me / My radio brings out the pain in me
the beat in me
— Frederick Smith, InsideOut Literary Arts project, Southeastern High School
DOWNLOAD OF THE WEEK
Black Milk feat. Will Sessions — "So Gone (Live)"
Last summer, rap wunderkind Black Milk and "big band," played a sold-out show at the venerable Detroit rock venue, the Magic Stick. Led by Will Sessions' Sam Beaubien, the nine-piece laid down nuggets from Milk's catalog including "So Gone" from his '07 breakout record Popular Demand. —Travis R. Wright
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