A groovy, surrealist, space-funk rap jam about preoccupation, hesitation, delays and distractions from Woodbridge-based rap duo who (finally) put out their fine LP Why Am I Grinding My Teeth... hopefully they also (finally) get around to maybe doing a video for this ... if they ever finish that other thing.
9)Jamaican Queens - Water
This new-ish trio (born from the ashes of long-lost freak-folk quintet Prussia) are all abuzz across local (and, now, international) blogs, honing super-cool vibes and a sensibility for blending synth-fuzzed churnings into a tweaked, spacey indie-pop thing. This song was a staple in their various live appearances but won't be out until their LP Worm Food drops in February.
8)Child Bite - Scum Gene (Trash Vibrato)
It was hard to single out one of Monomania's battering ram, bristled beauties — each have approached the fullest potential of their signature freak-metal incantation, so we might as well rock the one with the band's characteristic circuit-bent joystick wailing its way over the murky monster grooves.
7)Doc Waffles & Self Says - Wings Over Detroit/This Year
Two of the most dynamic and quirky wordsmiths on the local hip-hop scene, SelfSays (Charles Vann) adds charming banter to the brass-bolstered R&B-tweaked rants of Doc (Ben Ness) against the transit system; "Year" is Self's gamer-allegorizing resolution to take total control of his life and his music and advance to the next level.
6)Chit Chat - Communication
Ann Arbor-based lo-fi shredders blend psych-pop to a disarmingly sweet, shimmering surf-rock thing; their debut demos had some cool grimy sock-hop moments and their recent 7-inch conjures Link Wray via a poppier Cramps.
5)The Ashleys - Kids Are Dumb
There are vibrant bands and nifty jams coming from all across the new class of local pop (HandGrenades, DeadBeat Beat, Kickstand Band) but the Ashleys' goulash spills over skuzzier slabs of distorted glam and riffed-out space-rock.
4)Frontier Ruckus - Black Holes
Major keys, cheerily percolated banjos gleaming over propulsive drum fills and hooky melodica. Characteristically dense, dark, epic-scaled folk-rockers lighten up a bit for this sure standout from the forthcoming double-album (Eternity of Dimming) for its palatability and rollicking pop vibe.
3)Johnny Headband - Hot Button Topic
It's like when old-school new-wave, disco or hip-hop acts released their "Extended Dance-Mix" versions — our charismatically kinetic space-funk party-starters go for the jugular halfway through their Who Cooks for You LP with this 8-minute track; it's bracing and buoyant and right at the end it pulls the rug out from under you and gets meditatively atmospheric.
2)The High Strung - Parachutes
I think ?Posible o' Imposible? proved to be the piece de resistance for these veterans of dashing, radiant, jitter-rock, so you probably can't go wrong playing it back on random. This tune, though, billowy and soulful, strikes a startling and sweet poignancy.
1)Matt Jones & the Reconstruction - Special Forces
One of the first songs I heard of the year; rousing, marching percussion, sunburst cymbal shears, soaring cellos and violins chopping into rhythmic cuts at the bridge as soothing harmonies and reverb-twanged guitar build and build into this explosive, anthemic chorus only to crash down so suddenly — coaxing you, then, to just play it back just once more.