City Slang: Music review roundup

Jun 17, 2014 at 10:03 am

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].

The Legal Matters is a local power-pop trio, and its self-titled debut album from Futureman Records was recorded over six days in band member Andy Reed’s studio. The influences are immediately apparent, from the ’60s pop of the Beatles, the Monkees, etc, to the harder power-pop of Big Star and Cheap Trick. The hooks are huge and the harmonies and sweet. Great songs well played by excellent musicians.

It must be power-pop week in Michigan, because we also received Your Gracious Host’s Falling Off the Earth (Meccanic). A little less sugary than the Legal Matters’ record, this album is packed with infectious and bouncy tunes all the same. Think Crosby Stills & Nash getting drunk with the Replacements. There are a few little surprises, like the curveball thrown in the bridge to “Don’t Need to Tell Me You’re Lonely,” reminiscent of later-era Beatles. Great stuff.

Storm RossThe Green Realm (Fengrosso Music) came to us on CD, vinyl and digital download. Talk about being thorough. We appreciate it too – the artwork on the vinyl is disturbingly gorgeous, but we don’t have decks in the office. As for the music, it’s about as far removed from pop as you can get, though it is very powerful. Experimental noise disguises the melodies, but they are there. The band uses both live instruments and electronic toys, and the result is what could be the score to a bleak sci-fi movie.