City Slang: Weekly music review roundup

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 Meltdowns’ debut album, Critical Mass (Neurotic Bop) is a fantastic record, and the best release of the week. Rick Mills is a name known by most on the local rock ’n’ roll scene thanks to his work with the Seat Belts, the Volcanos and the 3-D Invisibles. No great departure with the Meltdowns – what we have here is some surf-orientated garage rock punk noise. The songs are awesome, and the LP / CD combo release is a treat.

There’s something very charming about La Shaun phoenix Moore’s Space Between the Rain (Sound Thought Recordings) album. Maybe it’s the way she spells the “phoenix” part of her name with a lower case “p”, or maybe it’s that silly album title. Probably though, it’s the dated-yet-fun approach to R&B that she employs. Remember when Chaka Khan was all over the radio in the ‘80s? This record brings you back to those comforting times. It sounds like it has nothing to do with the now, but there’s really nothing wrong with that.

Even better is the new album from I Love Lightning Bugs, Kensington (self-released). Remember when U2 meant something? Imagine that, with some pop-punk and some anthemic indie rock (Arcade Fire or something) thrown in. The songs are obviously impassioned and the band are furious musicians. Magnificent work.

Ben Sharkeyisn’t quite as exciting. From the CD sleeve images on Day into Night (self-released), it seems as though he’s going to be a Tony Bennett-esque crooner. Sadly, he’s more of cruise ship cabaret entertainer. Little in the way of soul or substance, and little to enjoy.

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