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].

Former City Slang stars Destroy This Place have returned with a split 7" single alongside Chicago alt-rockers Hospital Garden. Both bands contribute two songs, and the best from our boys is "We Never Learn", a characteristically caustic yet catchy, Fugazi-esque, attitude-heavy tune that is as short as it is sweet. Other references would be Irish bands Therapy? and Kerbdog, with maybe a little Sonic Youth thrown in. This band is evolving before our very eyes and ears, and it is a fantastic thing to behold.

The new video from I Love Lightning Bugs for the song “Not the Hopeless Kind” is absolutely stellar. The song is a Cure-esque example of goth-tinged indie rock, the kind of music Smiths fans would want to listen to while burying their heads in their pillows and crying about the fact that nobody “gets” them. The actual video is cool too; the band are seen as white-eyed silhouettes, moving speedily past the Loch Ness Monster, giant robots and satellite dishes. It’s like Tim Burton meets Ed Wood (as they once did in the Depp movie).

The new album from DandyLyon Whine, Coelacanth, is a fuzzy little gem. It opens with the title track, which lumbers along, threatening to take off but never quite making it, then the second song does pretty much the same thing. Then it sinks in, these guys are making lumbering, monolithic alt-rock that has hints of Dinosaur Jr. but also Nick Cave and even Tom Waits. When you stop waiting for the big bang, you can actually enjoy the thing.

Finally, Broken Day Machine’s Crossroads starts horribly with a radio-rock tune called “The Devil and Me” which features the line “this town’s been dragging me down” (hope he’s not talking about Detroit). Next song, “Gravity” continues along the same line (“don’t want to be here no more”). And so it goes on. The songs would go down a storm with fans of bands like Staind. WRIF listeners might well adore it. But this mainstream take on the self-pitying post-metal ballad does nothing for these ears.

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