Detroit-based X! Records often adds proud little phrases to descriptions of its releases. "Includes photocopied and stapled sleeve," or "Each copy has its own individual message written on the CD." With limited pressings, there's leeway for DIY. But homespun, person-to-person touches like this are also key to the music X! puts out. Heroes & Villains are part of that. Some songs on Play Themes from the Dark Pink Circus, the trio's debut, sound fully formed. "Strawman (In the Woodchipper)" works the dynamic between its acoustic strum and sludgy bass line to great effect, and the hazy psychedelia of "Reoccuring Dream" fits with its dream journal lyrics and cascading oohs and ahs. But there are also plenty of upended parts the clanging surf guitar in "Lovely Guns," the promising but still unfinished ideas in "Song A" and brief closer "Luniatus Runco," the two live tracks that mess around with spooky noise and more psych crockery. That Dark Pink Circus arrives still warm from its birth, flaws and all, is part the guiding principle for Heroes and, certainly, X! Records. What you hear is what you get, but there's also the sense that it might be totally different next time. Individuality is mercurial.
Dec. 15 at Bohemian National Home, 3009 Tillman, Detroit; 313-737-6606. As part of an X! Records showcase with Terrible Twos, Tyvek, the Frustrations and more.
Johnny Loftus is the music editor of Metro Times. Send comments to email@example.com.
We welcome readers to submit letters regarding articles and content in Detroit Metro Times. Letters should be a minimum of 150 words, refer to content that has appeared on Detroit Metro Times, and must include the writer's full name, address, and phone number for verification purposes. No attachments will be considered. Writers of letters selected for publication will be notified via email. Letters may be edited and shortened for space.
Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Support Local Journalism.
Join the Detroit Metro Times Press Club
Local journalism is information. Information is power. And we believe everyone deserves access to accurate independent coverage of their community and state. Our readers helped us continue this coverage in 2020, and we are so grateful for the support.
Help us keep this coverage going in 2021. Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing membership pledge, your support goes to local-based reporting from our small but mighty team.
Join the Metro Times Press Club for as little as $5 a month.