This ripe ripper from Detroit has been hounding the stereo for the past couple of weeks and it’s as raw a slice of motor city rock as you’re likely to hear in 2023. Built out of the city’s penchant for quarter-draft trog-rock mayhem, Christopher Alan Durham and his assembled Consumers set the sandpaper to work on the fidelity and let these nine nuggets of pelvic punk and barnacled R&B rumble where they wanna. There’s more to the mayhem than bites at first blush, though. While the record is littered with whiskey wailers covered in a thick nicotine haze, “Bite Down” sees a juxtaposition of psych-folk flutes hit the mix. “Party Store” breaks down in the dawn light like Johnny Thunders’ most sensitive strummers and there’s an almost country amble to the mop water wallow of “Trips.”
There are so many blood-cut gems that don’t let a little thing like clarity get in the way — from L.A.M.F. sessions and Destiny Street, to quite a few entire labels’ output through the 2010s. Much in the same way Kicks or Macabre shines through the grime. It takes a dust bath in dirge and desperation and turns it into crust-kicked catharsis. The record keeps things short for the most part, though CAD does let the runtime unravel in a wonderful way on the closer, winding through a loose and sprawling twang as “Trips” mops up the album’s bleeding soul. It’s a bit outside of what I’ve come to expect from Soft Abuse, but a welcome bruise to the speakers any day ya need it.
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