Monday, September 3, 2012

City Slang: Weekly music review roundup

Posted By on Mon, Sep 3, 2012 at 9:38 PM

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

I have to be honest – I could listen to this shit all day. The ReplicantsSilver Spoons is a five-track EP from the Lake Orion/Rochester suburbanites, and it sees the boys wallowing is trash, gleefully and very honestly proving that they can’t play for shit and they can barely pen a tune. And yet, in spite of it all, this is intriguingly listenable. I mean, the guitar work is beyond messy, and to call it rudimentary would be to insult serious students everywhere. But there’s a joy here, a gleeful abandon, that makes attitude-ridden songs like “God and the Oil Man” and the title track somehow kinda perfect.

I missed a bit of a trick here, because the Bermondsey JoyridersNoise and Revolution album has been sat on my desk for a few months but it went ignored because the band is English and I focus on Detroit music here. However, as it turns out, our own John Sinclair plays a big part on this record, spouting out husky, revolution-inspired spoken word diatribes between each song. As trans-Atlantic cross-pollination goes (something I know a lot about myself), it creates an intriguing mix. You have the band singing about a “Cuppa Tea”, and Sinclair talking about “Alternative Realities”. The band features veteran punks from bands like Chelsea, and the music is snotty and awesome. But it is that Detroit/England fuck-fest that makes this album fascinating.

Nadir’s The Book of Jonah (Distorted Soul) is a fantastic piece of work from the man who seems to flit between hard rock, funk and soul in a Lenny Kravitz sort of way. Kravitz is the obvious comparison because of those cross influences, though old Len hasn’t written a song as good as “Belly of the Whale” or “95 Miles Down the Road” (the latter featuring the awesome Mayaeni) in years. Nadir also send his most recent 45’s – the aforementioned “95 Miles Down the Road” and “Go it Alone / Love Thang”. All is fantastic.

The Paper Sound’s sophomore full length album, The Struggle With Light, sees the indie rockers pick up where they left off, with epic, lush melodies that recall the likes of The The and the Jesus and Mary Chain. “I write songs about human experience,” says singer/songwriter Phil Kinney on Facebook. “Everyone struggles with painful realities in life, but there is also hope.” That’s the vibe of the band. Wallow in pain, feel free, but take a peek at the light over there.

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