Phil Roth of Bay City pop-garage trio the Esperantos gives his freak flag plenty of room to fly in drums-bass duo the Fascists. The first impression of this debut LP: It's nervous, skittering post-punk England circa '79 until Roth lets loose his array of vocal whoops, cackles and woo-hoos. By then it's apparent that the Fascists are firmly rooted in early-millennial Americana
It's a New Weird America, though, where howling weirdos crawl the cities in search of long-gone girls and Rat Fink hotrods burn out of abandoned factories, grinding anything under their wheels. The drums lay the (unsettling) foundation while Chris Crobak's bass charges insistently ahead and Roth's tin-can-microphone vocals can't mask his classic sense of melody. Given the limitations of the instrumentation, the album varies considerably from song to song; slow, bleak dirges sit snugly next to midtempo rockers and a fair dose of breakneck romps. Far from cold rainy England, this disc runs hot with steamy Michigan humidity and post-millennium tension. To purchase, go to myspace.com/thefascists.
Friday, July 27, at the Cadieux Café, 4300 Cadieux, Detroit; 313-882-8560.
Mike Ross writes about music for Metro Times. Send comments to [email protected].