City Slang: Weekly music review roundup

Jul 19, 2011 at 3:16 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 [email protected].

The Howling Diablos’ latest album, Ultra Sonic Gas Can (Funky D), is a laid back, chilled out, vibe-y gem of a record. From the opening “Mr. Right Now (which is also the first single, released with an “After Party Re-Mix) through the self-explanatory “Hook-Up” and the hometown lovin’ “Detroit On My Mind” (featuring Uncle Kracker and the Detroit Wheels), this is Tino at his best, flippin’ a middle finger to the Fun Lovin’ Criminals.

AHK’s Future Fidelity comes on cassette tape (complete with a download code), and the whole package is a hip-hop work of art. The two sides of the tape are different colored plastic (one can only imagine how long that little endeavor took), and each tape comes with unique sleeve art. The music is cool in an “arm out of the car window on a hot day” sort of way. To throw it in a hip-hop box doesn’t do it justice. There’s a lot of experimentation with electronica here. Whatever, it’s all very cool.

Old school metal-heads Battlecross recently signed with national mega metal label Metal Blade. Their new single for that label, “Push Pull Destroy” is fucking wonderful. Ugly, intense, and dated in that perfect way, the riffs are ferocious and widdly, and the singing is growly. Brings to mind old Exodus and death metal bands like Morbid Angel. Magnificent.

Downtown Brown have a new video on YouTube for the “I Got A Poot In My Boot” single, and it’s ludicrous. The band members wouldn’t have it any other way. The Brown are Detroit’s answer to the Bloodhound Gang and, if they were looking to out-stupid those guys, they’ve succeeded. When the song ended, I wasn’t sure if I hated it or kinda liked it. I’d bet that’s what they were aiming for.

Destroy This Place features the talents of Ryan Allen and the debut album is Resurrect the Mammoth (Bellyache). The record is perhaps noisier than any of Allen’s previous projects. Fast-paced and a little grimey, though the tunes are still there. Fugazi influences bounce around all over a record that needs to be heard by more people than those that will.

Passalacqua’s self-titled and self-released EP features the talents of two gents called Blaksmith and Mister, and there’s a song on there called “Pineapple Faygo”. I’m sold already. The jazzy, sample-ridden hip-hop only seals the deal. The new Words With Friends (self-released) single is equally chilled out and glorious.

The Great Tribulation’s The Flood Brought the Fire (self-released) is a gem of a record. It’s female-fronted country, but not in that nasty Faith Hill sort of way. Rather, these tunes are honest, gritty and sublime.

Christopher Pratt comes across like a folky Radiohead on his The Fourth Wall EP (self-released). Not that that’s a bad thing at all. The vocals are haunting and the musicianship is subtle, dark and pretty. Impressive stuff.

The Fuzz’s Peach Fuzz (Melting Records) is incredible. Fuzzy, filthy, noisy and trashy, this is garage rock for the new millennium with the attitude turned up well past eleven. The tunes are there too, you just have to dig a little.

Nameless is a solo project from Melting Records man Jason Bombach. Just Jason is another one. The two solo projects from the same man have put out a split 45, called the Bipolar 7” (Melting Records) and it’s great. This seems to be a label worth keeping an eye on. The Nameless tunes are scuzzy, garage-punk brilliance, and the Just Jason song is acoustic garage punk brilliance. Love it.

Saturday sent a couple of tracks over to download, which was very kind because, bless ‘em, they’re pretty damn good. I try to ignore a band’s age, particularly when they’re youngsters, but these guys are fuckin’ 14 years old and they sound like they’ve lived a life of pain and strife. It’s garage-y, poppy punk rock and, though it not perfect, it’s really not supposed to be. At 14, they should be just having fun playing and impressing the girls at school. The fact they they’re making some fine music along the journey is impressive.