City Slang: Music review roundup

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 [email protected].

Sïck’s Born Wild is a welcome breath of fresh air in Detroit right now. The band, which we interviewed in February, told us that, ““We’re just a rock ’n’ roll band. The Beatles, Led Zeppelin, CCR, Mötley Crüe, Guns N’ Roses, Green Day, Nirvana — we really love all rock. We love the new music that’s coming out these days too. We’re really up to par with what’s happening now with the music scene. We don’t want to try to re-create the ’80s or the ’70s. We’re going to sound like right now.” They said that they refer to their music as “universal rock” because they soak in influences from all across the rock spectrum. It’s true too; despite the fact that the image of the band is rooted in the ’80s, these guys have obviously listened to hard rock and rock ’n’ roll through the decades. So, yes, there are Guns N’ Roses moments on here, but “Dirty Schemes” has a touch of My Chemical Romance to it. Still, the overriding vibe is one of rebellion and decadence. We can roll with that.

The InfatuationsDetroit Block Party is the dance-rock band’s long-awaited debut “real” album. It’s a bit weird for that have been paying attention for the last few years, because a song like “Dancing on My Knees” has been available in various forms for a long time. But ok, this is the first time they’ve had the opportunity to go into the studio and do these songs justice, as far as the band members are concerned. Still, the old songs hold up and the new songs sit comfortably alongside them. The Commitments-meets-Jamiroquai sound still rings true. Plus, the cover art by Mark Dancey is great.

Hook N Krooks’ self-titled latest album is a thrill ride into the psyches of five self-confessed white trash country punks. The band claims that its interests include whiskey, punk rock, horror movies, and shame. Got to love that last one. So the lyrics run the gamut between drinking, killing things, the devil, and sex – not necessarily in that order. There’s an appropriately dirty feel to the whole record, sort of like a ’70s exploitation flick, or a modern equivalent like The Devil’s Rejects. Lots of fun though. “I’m drinking while I’m in bed with you,” they say on “Drinkin’ Song.” Bastards.

The Fuzz has teamed up with Canadian band Weirdonia to produce Border Wars (Melting Records), a split 7” (and download) featuring two songs from each band. The Fuzz’s tunes are typically raucous, raw and fuzzy slabs of Detroit garage rock. Noisy, and fluffed up with some zany samples, this band continues to deliver. The Weirdonia songs are a little cleaner, though very tinny. Fun though – it’s like a high school band is covering AC/DC tunes in a basement, but playing them backwards. Oh, and the artwork, featuring a giant devil monster attacking the Ambassador Bridge, is apt and awesome.

The End Times is yet another quality 45 from Ann Arbor’s freaky alt-folk band. There’s something really spooky about these guys – the songs fall somewhere between the Mama’s & the Papa’s, and the soundtrack to the original The Wicker Man movie. Man, the rain at the start of b-side “Cursed With Hot Blood” sounds like Black Sabbath’s song of the same name. Earthy and extremely pretty, this band has a way of setting you at unease, and it’s a welcome feeling of discomfort.

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