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 Science Fair’s Odd Years EP is a pleasant surprise. Isn’t this the band that used to play funky disco rock? That was cool, but they seem to be reaching for atmosphere nowadays, and pulling back handfuls of melodic mist. Darker and deeper, this is a Science Fair with far more appeal than the “cool Timberlake” of old.

Mack Avenue Records has launched a new, all-local subsidiary called Detroit Music Factory, and we received three releases from them this week. The first is Scott Gwinnell’s Cass Corridor Story. That’s an awesome album title, and if the mood of the music is to be believed, the Cass Corridor is a very relaxing, smooth place. The musicianship is awesome but, while there are songs called things like “Pain” and “Duality”, there are no tunes that inspire thoughts of crack whores.

Planet D Nonet’s Swingin’ in the D is an upbeat little gem that recalls the big bands of yesteryear. Led by RJ Spangler of Sun Messengers fame, this is album that makes you want to do exactly what the title suggests.

Sean Dobbins and the Modern Jazz Messengers features Dobbins, a local jazz drummer who has played with the likes of Johnnie Bassett, Tad Weed and Fathead Newman, amongst many others. Blue Horizons is described by Dobbins as “traditional hard bop with a modern edge”, which is about right. It might not all sink in at once, but it’s worth the effort.

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