See our Best of Detroit 2020 winners.

Crank 

Reviews for the slippery palmed!

Zola Jesus

Conatus

Sacred Bones

2 Stars

Riffing: High-minded, ultra-serious third LP from Russian-Wisconsinite goth Nikia Danilova. Ponderous for long stretches, it works best when a synthpop beat is allowed, as on the fun "Seekir."

Reference points: Baroque chanteuse pop — lots of disaffected oversinging — bordering on New Age, occasionally easy to mistake for Enya, or something. The emotional model, though, is dystopian industrial dread fused with that classical stuff the kids like so much.

If you like: Nico, Cold Cave, Glasser, Cocteau Twins at their bleakest.

Colleen Green

Cujo EP

Art Fag

3 Stars

Riffing: Six-song shoegaze sludge marathon by blog hype, consistently as strong and riot grrrl cantankerous as preview "Rabid Love" suggested; catchy melodies, sardonic words, addictive fuzz.

Reference points: Unmistakably Californian noise pop dosed with early '90s slackerdom, but free of the Spector girl-group persuasions common to so many female rockers of late.

If you like: Best Coast, No Joy, early Bangles, L7, a bit o' Buzzcocks

Radiohead

TKOL RMX 1234567

TBD Records

2 Stars

Riffing: Collects the 12" singles Radiohead issued throughout the year of remixed King of Limbs songs. Knob-twiddlers include Caribou, Four Tet, and Jamie xx; results vary wildly and aren't really suited to LP format.

Reference points: These distortions and distillations will mostly make you long for the (already quite danceable) Limbs. There are bright spots, such as SBTRKT's immersive spin on "Lotus Flower," but also too many irritating dubstep variants on "Bloom."

If you like: Dozing to your fave bands.

The War on Drugs

Slave Ambient

Secretly Canadian

1 Stars

Riffing: As if Kurt Vile's own prattle weren't enough, his former bandmates continue the Tom Pettyfication of indie rock with more deathly boring guitar noodling and "emotion."

Reference points: Something college students and their parents might've bonded over in 1982, maybe Dire Straits with an ambient fixation. The singing is disaffected, the songs dross (sample titles: "Your Love Is Calling My Name," "It's Your Destiny").

If you like: Music piped in at Home Depot.

M83

Hurry Up, We're Dreaming

Mute

2 Stars

Riffing: Over-the-top double album from electro-dreamer Anthony Gonzalez fits neatly into the pervasive '80s dance revival with an injection of prog, but at 73 minutes? Please. 

Reference points: The impossibly hip sax-addled "Midnight City" will light up cold winter nights, but melodramatic pile-ons like "New Map" are more typical, actually calling to mind Animal Collective with a Bananarama backdrop.

If you like: Destroyer's Kaputt (which is weirder — and better); pretending you can go clubbing in OMD's heyday.

We welcome readers to submit letters regarding articles and content in Detroit Metro Times. Letters should be a minimum of 150 words, refer to content that has appeared on Detroit Metro Times, and must include the writer's full name, address, and phone number for verification purposes. No attachments will be considered. Writers of letters selected for publication will be notified via email. Letters may be edited and shortened for space.

Email us at letters@metrotimes.com.

Detroit Metro Times works for you, and your support is essential.

Our small but mighty local team works tirelessly to bring you high-quality, uncensored news and cultural coverage of Detroit and beyond.

Unlike many newspapers, ours is free – and we'd like to keep it that way, because we believe, now more than ever, everyone deserves access to accurate, independent coverage of their community.

Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing pledge, your support helps keep Detroit's true free press free.

More by Nathan Phillips

Read the Digital Print Issue

October 28, 2020

View more issues

Newsletters

Never miss a beat

Sign Up Now

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

Best Things to Do In Detroit