City Slang: Weekly music reviews

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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 mt.cityslang@gmail.com.

Bill Grogan’s Goat, a kick-ass Celtic rock band, are the subject of next week’s City Slang column in the newspaper, so look out for that. In the meantime, as a little teaser, the band gave me the two albums that it has recorded so far. Both feature folk song given a boot up the behind courtesy of electricity. The first, self-titled album (Beagletone) has some familiar songs like “The Wild Rover”, “Dirty Old Town” and “Whiskey in the Jar”, and some not-so familiar, at least not to people who aren’t big folk fans. All sound great though. Second Wind picks up where the debut left off, and the sludgy version of “Danny Boy” is pretty much worth the price by itself.

Gerard Smith is one member of Bill Grogan’s Goat and, during our recent interview, he also gave me his two solo albums. The beautifully titled Hamtramck: Heaven (Beagletone) was recorded back in 2000, seven years before the Goat put out its first album. This album, and the 2006 follow up, Idylls of the King of the Road (Beagletone) perfectly illustrate the evolution of the idea of the band. Smith favors a trad sound with heavy riffs.

Slaughter House sent over its new track, “Hammer Dance” (Shady), and it’s fucking slammin’. The rap supergroup, featuring (among others) Royce da 5’9” had the song remixed by El-P, and it sounds insanely heavy. The lyrics are tight, but it is the crunch that slams through the song that makes it kick so damned hard.

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