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

We Came As Romans just seem to be going from strength to strength at the moment, and Understanding What We’ve Grown to Be (Equal Vision) is a fantastic sophomore release to the 2009 debut To Plant a Seed for the Troy-based scream-core kids. The songs are well written, the intensity is high and, while the “scream a verse, sing a verse” technique isn’t particularly fresh anymore, they get away with thanks to passion, honesty and some damn fine musicianship.

Soul Preacher’s Rampant (self-released) EP features five slabs of dirty, bar room stoner rock. Nothing ingenious, but more than good enough to get hammered to.


Another week, another Mary Cotter release. This time, it’s the Permanent Smile (self-released) EP. Again, it comes complete with some fantastic original art by the lady in question, and the three songs on here are as good as we’ve come to expect over the past couple of months. Delicate, poignant and inspiring, Cotter just won’t stay off our radar, which is great.

Cartography is an unusually academic name for a band. True to form, the Racoon Moon (self-released) is a smart little mini-album that is part contemporary indie and part art-punk a la Television. We’ll be checking them out further for sure.


Buffay’s Appateazerz (self-released) is a great new single / 2-track mini-album from the Ypsilanti rapper. It’s fresh, summery and kinda nonsensical fun. Try not to dance when listening to, plus the tune gets stuck in your head for hours.

Utility Monster’s self-titled and self-released EP is sorta pop-punk with a ton of energy, some lemonade tunes and a bit of swearing thrown in for good punk luck. Enjoyable, if not life-changing. Plus, what the fuck is a utility monster? Does it live in the dryer? Is that where my fucking socks have been going?


There’s Nothing to Fear (self-released) is the latest single from metal heads Bat on Fire and it’s pretty cool. Dark, riffy and sinister, it apparently tells the story of Jack the Ripper, specifically the London police investigating the death of one of Saucy Jack’s victims. It’s like a musical version of Law & Order