Tuesday, November 26, 2013

City Slang: Weekly music review roundup

Posted By on Tue, Nov 26, 2013 at 10:25 AM

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Send CDs, vinyl, cassettes, demos and 8-tracks to Brett Callwood, Metro Times, 1200 Woodward Heights, Ferndale MI 48220. Email MP3s and streaming links to bcallwood@metrotimes.com.

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6 and the 7’sNot What Ships Are For (HiRosRise Music) has seen it’s sound, not so much evolve, but certainly progress since the previous Songs About Girls album. The ’60s inspired outfit seemed a little forced together when it began, but time has filled the cracks and smoothed over the seams. Think a slightly sweeter, polished version of the Sights (Eddie Baranek is a big supporter). What we have now is a totally professional and finely tuned pop-rock band. Still, a dab of grime would go a long way.

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In the Dark: Detroit is Back (Still Music) is a compilation of local, new electronic music from artists like Gabbamonkey and Reggie Dokes, and the record is a follow up to Jerome Derradji's Detroit Beat Down. There’s a lot of fascinating stuff on here; the record focuses on techno, soul and house, so the music ranges from chill ambience to the upbeat. For the novice, it’s a great who’s who of the current underground movers and shakers on the scene.

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500 Club’s Pacifica features a hell of a lot of songs about California for a Detroit band. “San Francisco” kicks the thing off, then there’s “Out in California” and “Red Ride in Hollywood.” OK, fair enough, there’s a sunny, So-Cal vibe to these Weezer-ish power-pop ditties, infused with surf. Careful though, boys. You’ll give us a complex.

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The amazing souls at Blue Underground have put out the soundtrack to the ’90 movie Maniac Cop 2, and we’re including it here because Bruce Campbell gets very, very killed near the beginning of that film. Tenuous, maybe, but the score by Jay Chattaway is so wonderfully over-the-top that it’s impossible to ignore. Plus, and this is a big plus, there’s the “Maniac Cop Rap” by Yeshwua Barnes and Brian “B.Dub” Woods. It has to be heard to be believed. It’s like the Fresh Prince’s horror phase.

The Howling DiablosReturn of the Funk Hand (Funky D) sees Tino’s pick up where they left off with the career-defining Ultra Sonic Gas Can. The “Funk Hand/George Clinton Got in my Car” single has already been reviewed, and those two guest-infested tracks kick off the album. Elsewhere, “Good Good Vibes” is the feel-good funk hit of the winter, and “Real Gangsters Don’t Wear Tennis Shoes” is, well, true. Maybe the previous album has the slightly better hooks, but this one is brimming with soul.

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Gold Tapes sent us two audio cassettes this week, which effectively means that we had to dust off the old tape player. Still works? Yup. Good to go. Junk Food Junkies’ self-titled debut is quite deliberately rudimentary is a Shaggs sort of way. However, the cutesy, food-obsessed tunes are so sweet and naïve, again like the Shaggs, that any shortcomings quickly become positives. Plus, the melodies are deceptively infectious.

Gold Tapes also sent us Rall Tide’s World Series Hangovers, a post-punk album that recalls Husker Du and, as they themselves say, the Replacements. These pop songs are buried under barbed wire, but they’re well worth the effort. “Boku Laid” is a great example of internet filth set to noisy rock ’n’ roll. Both tapes, incidentally, were packaged in a very pretty jewelry box (we think that’s what it is) and came complete with a very bizarre movie script.

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