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Sit & spin



Upon first listen of the Muggs self-titled debut album, which is out this week on Times Beach, one might think them better suited sharing some Motor Speedway Super Jam bill with pre-chub ZZ Top, pro-chub Mountain, the James Gang, and opener Black Oak Arkansas. We can imagine 15,000 hand-hoisted lighter flashes and scads of halter tops crammed with nature-filled knockers. We can see too many Schlitz-bloated guts protruding from under leather vests and weed wafts forming serpents in the summer night air. All hail the Muggs!

Problem is, it ain’t 1975, and imagination only goes so far.

So what? The Muggs don’t give a shit about what the calendar says. Their smoky din carries weight: Headlong joy, inner-band loyalty and personal tragedies spark the band’s heady riff-stomp and melody — they could, if given the chance, melt into wicked shapes the ears of any “classic rock” enthusiast. Further, lead howler (and Payback six-stringer) Danny Methric is, in an untainted use of the term, a guitar hero. (To read more about the Muggs, see “Mugg shots,” Metro Times, Dec. 15, 2004.

To coincide with the band’s record release show this week, we thought it’d be swell to get the band’s take on some new discs, Rate-A-Record style. After all, these gents know their rock ’n’ roll, but what’s their take on DJ Z-Trip, or Nine Inch Nails? We gathered at Methric’s kempt Cass Corridor digs armed with 12s of canned beer and a bag full of new releases. Yep, tonight the Muggs (Methric, keyboard-bassist Tony DeNardo and skinsman Matt Rost) are the music crits.

Here’s how it worked: I picked the albums and spun select tracks from each, withholding certain details, such as who or what they were listening to, though they immediately guessed a few of them. All selections are new or upcoming releases or reissues. For the most part, their comments came in colors, and as the beer cans emptied, the boys got brave. In fact, the whole evening ended on a beery argument about the Beatles that mellowed into a reverent celebration of Jimmy McCarty and Cactus.

DJ Z-Trip
Shifting Gears

Tony: It sounds like MC Shy D from back in the day, my freshman year of high school. “Gotta be tough” was the shit.

Danny: [Laughing] I kinda like it. It’s not bad. It’s not something I’d dig out of my closet and get down on. But if it’s on at a club — a house pah-tey — I can get down on that. Sounds like a white guy.

Tony: Sounds like Will Smith, which is the same difference [laughs]

Matt: [Shaking his head, solemnly] Sounds like they like to party first and the music comes second.


Diamond Nights
Once We Were Diamonds EP

Tony: The second song is a little too sing-songy for me. The first song was great. I like how the drums were produced, all up front.

Danny: I like it, actually. They sound like smart songwriters. Good musicians, sounds like a good drummer, produced well, I actually really dig it. I give it the thumbs up.

Matt: It’s my turn? Um ... ah, man. I really like the songs, pop rock. Good rock ’n’ roll, ma.


Miles Davis
’Round About Midnight: Legacy Edition


Tony: I could listen to Miles Davis 24/7. It’s perfect. When I’m in my twilight years, I want to be in a jazz ensemble.

Danny: That’s as good as it gets as far as jazz goes. I’m not big on the modern jazz, but the classic Miles stuff is what I really like to listen to.

Matt: Very cool. How can you not like the airy, muted tone of Miles Davis?


Ben Cyllus
Cinnamon Matinee

( local demo)

Tony: I like it. I like it a lot. Very melodic. Melody is king.

Danny: Fine crafted songs and pop. I’ve heard some better pop, but I like the songwriter and this band. I think I can get into it with a couple more listens.

Matt: Um ... I don’t care for it. It’s a little too folky for me.


Band, Girls, Money


Tony: I like this, it has an urgency to it. It’s like being force-fed a hot dog down your throat but being hungry at the same time...

Danny: [Laughs] I’d like to comment on Tony’s comment. Um, the Muggs don’t endorse hot dog consumption of that form...

Matt: [Shaking his head again, and staring at the floor] Noise, noise, nois.


Solomon Burke
Live at the House of Blues

(Shout! Factory)

Tony: I love Solomon Burke, the live shit works really, really well. Anything will do for me.

Danny: [Mimicking Don Pardo] “It’s Saturday Night Live, with your host Matthew McConaughey.” No, I love it. My favorite type of music to listen to is soul music, R&B, soul with horns, Otis Redding- and Sam Cooke-style. Sooner or later I’m gonna write tunes like that. I think this is fantastic. I love the sound of it.

Matt: I love anything with horns and a B-3. I think it’s super-sexy.


Electric 6
Señor Smoke


Tony: Actually I like it. Is this Electric 6? I thought it was very imaginative. I like all the crazy sounds, and the way it was produced.

Danny: [Said before he knew it was Electric 6] If this band was guys dressed normally in jeans and T-shirts, I would hate this music. But if they had some sort of Spinal Tap persona, dressed up as crazy goth Indians up on stage, I’d think it was fantastic and I’d love it.

Matt: I like it more and more as I listen to it. Very distinguishable band, larger than life.


Radiators From Space
TV Tube Heart

(Chiswick/Ace UK - '77 punk reissue)

Tony: Very good. I like the linear bass line, blues roots rock. It’s cool.

Danny: I think it’s pretty interesting for a silly, mindless new wave rock ’n’ roll. Had it been 1979, I might’ve really gotten into it.

Matt: It’s just too silly and corny for my taste.


The Black Eyed Peas
Monkey Business


Tony: Black dudes on surfboards. I like what the Black Eyed Peas represent. The Peas are the type of band that deserves to be played in a club while you’re rolling on E, where you don’t care about anything but the beat.

Danny: I don’t like it too much. I’ve heard better representations of the genre. It doesn’t do much for me.

Matt: Waaaay toooo prooduuuced. I can’t get into the sampling at all.


Rebel, Sweetheart

Tony: Ohhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh. Yawn.

Danny: Jakob Dylan’s monotone delivery gets on my nerves. I don’t like it.

Matt: I like it. It sounds intelligent. Too bad it doesn’t fit the bill between 89X and WRIF.


Nine Inch Nails
With Teeth


Tony: I’ve got to say that I respect all music. But, I can’t stand Trent Reznor.

Danny: Everything that is wrong with modern music is embodied in Trent Reznor.

Matt: I just don’t get it, man. There’s so much better stuff out there than this.


Don’t Believe The Truth


Tony: I’m a pouty face! I dunno, Liam’s a fuckin’ gaywad

Danny: Oasis is very derivative. But they’re derivative of my favorite bands, so, ultimately, I can listen to this stuff and still get into it. If they were nice guys and didn’t say they were better than the Beatles, then they could be one of the best bands around. But I have a personal vendetta against them because they think they’re the greatest band. But they’re not. They talk too much shit.

Tony: We’re derivative.

Danny: We’re totally derivative. But you can’t say you’re better than the bands you’re derivative of ...

Matt: I doooon’t know. They’re al-riiight. I don’t know, the Beatles never did anything for me.

Danny: Whaaat? That’s like pissing on my family [laughs] ...


Preview two songs from the Muggs latest album on their artist profile.

Saturday, June 25, at Paychecks Lounge, 2932 Caniff, Hamtramck; 313-874-0909, with Outrageous Cherry and the Rioteers.

Brian Smith is music editor of Metro Times. Send comments to

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