City Slang: Weekly music review roundup

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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.

The Dewtons, a Ramones-influenced punk band from Detroit, has put out a split-7” with Chicago band the Hairlips (One Minute Records). First thing to note – the vinyl is a very pretty light blue. The second thing is that, even though it is a 7”, it is to be played on 33rpm, not 45. That’s because there are two tracks on each side. I missed that, so at first I was listening to a chipmunks version of the Dewtons. Thing is, they still sounded good. Anyway, a flick of the switch later and the band are kicking ass. Two high-octane, super-melodic and bouncy pop-punk ditties. To be honest, the Hairlips give out much of the same. Maybe the vocals are little more nasal, in a NOFX way. All fun tunes though.

Rita Mosley’s Unleashed (RML) album is far more likable than it should be for what is essentially contemporary R&B. This is the sort of music that gets played in the worst kind of clubs, and yet there is something a bit different about Mosley’s songwriting. She’s smarter than the average chart-friendly diva, plus the production is fantastic – sparse yet pumping. The opening “Get Cocky” and “Give it to Me” display exactly where she’s coming from, but there’s much to enjoy. Didn’t see that coming.

Tia Fuller’s Angelic Warrior is the latest release from Mack Avenue Records, and it’s a stunning slab of jazz. According to Fuller, “It was an exciting challenge for me, because I was expanding upon a new concept to utilize the electric bass as both a melodic and harmonic voice playing contrapuntal lines with me.” We don’t know anything about contrapuntal lines, but it all sounds gorgeous.

Ann Arbor rockers Mazinga have a new 2-track single/EP/whatever out called Wake Up. As well as the fact that Pete Bankert produces, the band has secured the services of Radio Birdman guitarist Deniz Tek for the lead track. Both tunes blast past in a whir of garage-y, punky fun and joy. Love it.

Five Star Hotel’s debut self-titled album is incredible. The album basically consists of experimental electronic music, and opening track “Centipede” is a sort of statement of intent. It’s evil. It could easily (and fittingly) be on the score for the Human Centipede movies. It’s the sound of somebody stroking your hair while sawing off your leg. The massage is so nice, you barely notice the cuts. And so it goes on. This project is so moody, so atmospheric, that it’s hard to ground yourself back into your actual surroundings once it’s over. This album is unique, bizarre, ugly and beautiful. It’s spectacular.

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