Detroit awakens?

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Ghettoblaster album cover
  • Ghettoblaster album cover

A compilation album that isn't stocked with leftovers, throwaways and demo rejects? To quote Richard Lewis, "Hey, what's going on around here?" Among these 19 tracks cut at Ghetto Recorders by 12 local (mostly) underground rock artistes, there are almost too many highlights to squeeze into this short space – two superb Dirtbombs tracks that get the full clatter ("Wheatland") 'n' strum ("Encrypted") of the Mick Collins mindscape; the closest the Hentchmen have come to capturing their raucous live fun on tape; a pair of jangly Witches treats that are remarkably focused, given the group's shambolic concertizing; and top-shelf contributions from Outrageous Cherry, Bantam Rooster, the Volebeats, the Dirtys and Detroit's favorite adopted dirty uncle, Kim Fowley. Most encouraging sign: You have to get all the way to track 12 before you find an Iggy impersonation!

This collection does Detroit proud, yet we could fill a second comp with worthy bands from the same scene who aren't represented here. And remember, this is still only one stylistic neighborhood in a city whose diversity continues to be its strength. Could the slumbering giant be stirring at last?

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