City Slang: Weekly music review roundup

Dec 19, 2012 at 10:13 am

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].

Ifé is an interesting gal. The Detroit native (now living in NYC) grew up in a musical family surrounded by cats like Sun Ra. She made waves in the Detroit techno scene and, later, in trip-hop, making friends like Tricky. But that’s enough name-dropping, because her own solo album, Fire Inside of Me, is impressive enough by itself. It actually rocks pretty hard as Ifé looks to exorcise as many demons as possible inside 11 tracks. There are elements of Patti Smith, Sheryl Crow and Neneh Cherry here, but not in any copy-cat way. A great album.

My Pal Val is a trippy little band. The Mind Over Matter album sees the trio explore every echo, effect and other trick to make the tunes feel as dreamy and atmospheric as possible. It works too. Not that the band is afraid of a good riff, but every song on here feels like those moment when the Pixies play soft. Nothing wrong with that.

DJ Maestro’s Steve Jackson’s Ballroom Hustle 101 (BOMBZ Musik) confuses the hell out of us. It’s hard to tell if it’s an exercise disc, an instructional dance album, or just some weird dance music. Either way, the whole thing gets annoying midway through track two and is basically unlistenable after that.

Kevin EubanksThe Messenger is the latest album from Mack Avenue Records and it’s kinda beautiful. Eubanks is the sort of jazz guitarist who transcends genre if you allow yourself to get carried away. There’s a Latin influence in there, as well as some trad classical. “I wanted to branch out a little more with this recording,” Eubanks said. Job done, sir.

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