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

During a recent interview, Mitch Ryder told me that he has examined mature subject on his most recent studio album The Promise (101), released in Europe in 2009 as Detroit Ain’t Dead Yet (The Promise). That made me want to listen to it again, and sure enough he is. Still sounds amazing though. His voice is magnificent and the songwriting exquisite. For more detail, check out next week’s column

Jennifer Westwood’s Dishwater Blonde (self-released) EP is a tremendous piece of work, expertly straddling the line between alt-country and hard rock, she veers around Sheryl Crowe territory with songs like the title track and “Good Life”, but she’s got that Detroit grit in there and so is just better.

Ricky Rat is a local treasure, as highlighted by his awesome new 45, Crossfire Summer (New Fortune). Rat’s affection for bluesy British sleaze bands like the Dogs D’amour and the London Quireboys, plus more alternative punks like the Manic Street Preachers, informs his trashy songwriting, producing gems like this. Awesome.

An incredible split-7” from Motor City Special places Thee Kaipirinas alongside the Sin-Bads. Both are very Detroit, noisy passionate and filthy slices of minimally produced rock ‘n’ roll, and both are awesome.

Well worth checking out is the new single from Lettercamp, “Oh Well”. As infectious, pulsating and riddled with pop genius as one has come to expect from Wittman and her merry men, this single just makes us salivate all the more over the forthcoming album.

Another band who know how to put out a pop gem is Lightning Love, and the band is offering a free download of the song “Deadbeat”. The tune has been a live fave for a while, with Leah singing about her life in pretty detail.

Finally, Nick Pivot’s awesome song “Fuck You I’m From Detroit” made the hair stand up on the back of my neck. If a song has been written with a title I’ve yet to hear it. Plus, it’s a beautifully put together bit of alt-country, with attitude and strum. The song will be be on the forthcoming EP A Guy, a Guitar, and a Cheap Can of Beer.

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