Some cities just know how to produce bands by the bucketload. Take Detroit, for instance: we don’t need to rattle through a full list or anything, but safe to say that if your town has given the world the likes of Motown, Derrick May and J Dilla - before we even start to think about The Stooges et al - then you could be forgiven for thinking there must be something in the water round those parts. So whaddya say? Should we get to know two more fine exponents of melodic wonder from the Motor City? Only seems fair.
This split LP between citymates The Stools and Toeheads certainly isn’t a letdown as far as the illustrious company of their forebears goes. In fact, it’s a fast-paced thrill ride that oscillates between hip-shaking rock’n’roll swing and bone-shaking hardcore energy. You might already be familiar with The Stools thanks to their ludicrously addictive Feelin’ Fine 7”, which dropped via Drunken Sailor (hey, those guys sound familiar…) early in 2021. If you though that short EP was a good time, wait ‘til you see what they’ve got in store here: right out of the gate, opener Dead Man’s Ford smashes the devil-toed boogie of the MC5 at their slinkiest into the teeth-clenched intensity of Negative Approach (and that’s a pretty decent John Brannon-style roar they deliver too). They maintain this quality and velocity across their side, which is brilliant.
There’s no let-up from Toeheads either - their side of this split sounds like someone revved up The Gun Club and aimed fireworks inside their exhaust. This is the sound you always knew you were working towards when you got into this rock’n’roll business; guitars blazing, lungs bursting, a wall of sound collapsing while we all dance in the debris. Does it sound like anything new? Fuck no, but that’s not the point. Much like The Stools, there’s nothing you can say about Toeheads that can’t be summarised with the phrase ‘total exhilaration’.
So there you have it. Another compelling case for Detroit as home to the finest sounds around, put forth by two young bands who make playing loud, fast and dumb sound easy. Call it conviction, call it chutzpah… hell, call it talent if you want, I ain’t gonna stop you. But chiefly, call it a fucking good time and put the damn record on. This slays.
100 Green/ 400 Black Vinyl