Detroit Proud Playlist: Week of 2/1

Another week brings another Detroit Proud playlist! Please keep your headphones in at all times and crank the volume up, because you’re really going to hate yourself if you miss this week’s lineup. Trust us.

1. Against the Grain – “Here To Stay

Speed metal doesn’t even come close to describing hard-rockin’ Detroit-grime band, Against the Grain. Their release, Road Warriors, packs a major punch over three short tracks, but that’s really all you need to thrash into oblivion. Raging guitar solos, insuppressible drums and manic bass runs are only the tip of the iceberg when describing ATG’s talented performance. Their tracks are remarkably tight (how you can rage that hard and still keep tempo is beyond us), but they are the quintessential speed metal band and they do it better than most. The vocals break through in harsh bursts that compliment their chaotic playing style and rally listeners to participate in what we can only term as utterly bada**.

(Check out Jackson and The Poolsharks’ rendition of ATG at this year’s Detroit x Detroit VI!)

2. REVEREND – “Natural Causes

We hope to hear some new material from Reverend soon, but in the meantime, we can’t help but mention their 2013 mini-release, Future Weed. It’s a heavy jam with unrelenting energy and spunk, while living up to their freak-psych rock persona. Don’t expect any quiet, rejuvenating bridges or hooks to catch your breath from this full-throttle listen, because they’re just not there. It’s hardcore jam-rock in all its glory and there’s no room to relax. Go hard or go home, folks. Reverend knows.

3. Blue Black Hours – “Spiders

An interesting blend of psychedelic rock and stoner metal, Black Blue Hours’ 2014 release, Sunlight and Dust, is a moody, hazy collection of thick guitar tracks punctuated by colossal drums and grand vocalizations that wash over the muddy instrumentation. Their sound is thick and heady, easily putting the listener into a trance-like state and definitely putting them in the “face-melting” category. Their progressive tendencies shine through on this release and give them an interesting, experimental edge.

4. Kopelli – “Dean Martin feat. Jade Lathan

(Credit: Sean Mack)

(credit: Sean Mack)

Known for his traditional hip-hop style with a progressive twist, Cold Men Young’s Kopelli drops some soulful tracks with high-integrity rhymes and fresh production on his debut album, Gentlemen Jack. Layers of classic rhythms are submerged and coated in modern bass beats and sound bites that really bring the groove alive, but maintain that time-honored hip-hop feel. The lyrics are deliciously catchy and quick-witted with an effortless delivery where the words just roll out of his mouth like a stream of consciousness. This could easily be a club jam, but it’s too sophisticated for that kind of play. These are gold-standard beats, too glamorous for that kind of sweaty scene.

5. The Tiny Ugly Germs – “Wednesday Afternoon, 3 p.m.

Harnessing the best of the post-hardcore genre, The Tiny Ugly Germs’ most recent album, Do You Feel Let Down? is an angst-driven release that marries deep poetic lyricism with heavy, psychedelic guitar and anthemic drums, making each track an epic listen. It’s easy for these guys to transition from rough and edgy to melodic and melancholy, giving dynamic to the album and playing beautifully on the emotions. This is a rollercoaster ride of an album, but its genuine and raw theme makes it hard to jump around from track to track. We highly recommend listening through in its entirety, because it’ll take you on quite the trip.

6. Doctor Pizza – “Steve Jordan

We don’t like to keep our instrumental friends out of the spotlight, so here’s a group you need to check out ASAP for your next dinner party playlist (or anytime, really). Unquestionably talented and as groovy as they come, Doctor Pizza’s sophomore self-titled release is an 8-track journey through the relaxing and funky landscapes of jazz and soul. Their style is experimental, but simplistic enough for even the most avid of jazz listeners, which makes this album extremely accessible. Each track is an acceptable length for intent listening and you’ll definitely want to, because the dynamic instrumentation is phenomenal. Jazzy guitar, quick-paced drums and the occasional synth is thrown into the mix (with a plethora of other instruments). So take the time to check out this modern, jazz group. You won’t be disappointed.

7. The End Electric – “Sweet Shimmering Justice

The End Electric’s debut album, Banana Casual, is a psychedelic, alternative rock jam with charming and sultry vocals, heavy bass chops and experimental guitar licks. The dynamic between the vocals and instrumentation offers a different listening experience that morphs itself from funk rock to something resembling reggae rock, shadowed by a bit of psychedelia. We enjoy bands that don’t like to be locked into a genre-specific category, and this group definitely fits the bill. The tracks have a mind of their own and take twists and turns that make this listen as surprising as it is enjoyable.

8. Lipstick Marquee – “One Step At A Time

Lipstick Marquee’s The Moral Compass LP is a lo-fi indie, roots rock release with psychedelic and blues undertones, giving it an aged, authentic sound. It’s as stripped down as rock n’ roll can get, and we dig the DIY-style. Each track varies in direction, but they’re always noticeably Lipstick Marquee’s groovy-style. Reminiscent of The Band, this LP is jam heavy and harkens back to rock’s origins with simple harmonies and essential guitar hooks. This is a classic re-imagined and gave us a twinge of musical nostalgia. Nice work, Lipstick Marquee.

9. Mountain Club – “Back In The Day

Mountain Club is an experimental pop-rock group with a varying style that caters to even the pickiest of listeners. Their mass-appealing sound resonates in their recent EP, Time Waits For No One, where catchy choruses and melodic guitars mesh with a quick-paced and energetic rhythm section. There are hints of punk and post-hardcore that adds a bit of agitation and urgency (hence that killer rhythm section). It’s full-bodied and overflowing with awesome instrumentation and hard-hitting lyricism delivered by a unique voice that rounds out their sound.

10. PALACES – “Still Romantic

(credit: design-Martin Smith, photography-Jarod Jew)

(credit: design-Martin Smith, photography-Jarod Jew)

PALACES single, “Still Romantic,” takes us to a place of romanticized (what a coincidence!) psychedelia with snippets of new-wave and pop-punk added for good measure. It’s a dreamy combination of airy synth and lo-fi guitar, matched with minimalist drums and reverberant vocals that sweep in and out of each track. You can hear the depth of the sound on each track, giving it a layered and open effect. We love the jamminess of this band and the fuzzy quality that dusts over this single and produces a broken-in feel.

We’ve got a lot of great music festival coverage coming up for you in the next few weeks, so stay tuned for some more killer bands!

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