Label: Citadel Records
Released: February 2013
Reviewed by Shane Pinnegar
Ten years since his last solo album, Deniz Tek delivers not so much a love song to the city close to his Ann Arbor, Michigan birthplace, as a lament to its faded glory.
You might know Tek more for his time as author of the Australian sonic underground blueprint through seminal garage punks Radio Birdman, or through his affiliations with both The MC5 and The Stooges. You may not also know that he is an ex-Navy surgeon and ER Doctor who splits his time between Australia, Hawaii and Detroit.
Detroit the album has a sparser sound than the aforementioned garage punk heroes – older and wiser perhaps, though no less raw and unique. Stabs of keyboard and harmonica punctuate what is basically amped up blues played by seasoned veterans, and the restraint of the playing, especially Tek’s guitar, is louchely in sync with the lyrical subject matter reflecting a dilapidated metropolis.
Don’t let the casual sounds fool you though: Tek and his band know exactly what they’re doing and the album is full of masterful melodies which will reveal themselves on repeated listens.
Through the stark but engaging Pine Box and Can Of Soup, Ghost Town and Let Him Pay For That, the feeling is not so much of depression and misery, but of missing the joys of a more positive time, and perhaps hoping for a return to the “good ol’ days”, a sentiment underlined by fast paced and harmonica-heavy album closer I’m All Right.
Deniz Tek: Australian tour dates:
Friday 22 February North Nowra Tavern
Saturday 23 February Wollongong – The Patch
Friday 1 March Sydney – The Square
Saturday 2 March Newcastle – Great Northern
Thursday 7 March Coffs Harbour – Plantation Hotel
Friday 8 March Lismore Bowling Club
Saturday 9 March Brisbane – Beetle Bar
Friday 15 March Melbourne – The Tote
Saturday 16 March Castlemaine – The Bridge
Saturday 23 March Wollongong – Barcode
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Filed Under: CD Reviews
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