the JOHNNY ILL BAND "The Doctor" 7inch EP

Most news articles and books on the shelves these days concerning Detroit tend to discuss the greatest fall of an empire since Rome (and a large chunk of what tourism from curiosity seekers wanting to sightsee and explore the ruins). Full of crumbling facades, skyscrapers gutted from anything that can get some nickels and dimes per pound at the scrapyards, onetime thriving neighborhoods now consisting of vacated, boarded up, burned out homes, overgrown brush, ghosts & pheasants (lots of pheasants) and empty storefronts. To a lot of extents it is true but there are those who thrive on such surroundings taking in the air and reinterpreting back into something that has a pulse. Sure, it may be an off kilter pulse but a pulse none the less.
With a Terrible Two or two in tow the Johnny Ill Band is a band that is doing such a thing. "The Doctor" (nope, not a cover of the Doobie Brothers last hit ever) is a twitchy rustbelt rock that in some circles could be tagged as art-punk but it's more of the pot holed street display for whatever desolate souls that may stumble by than it would appeal to a chin scratching, cheese eating gallery crowd. "Make The Feel Good" is along the same lines with it's DIY/Pere Ubu leanings but much more steeped in Sunday comic escapism than it is in Theater of the Absurd intellectualism.
Side two's "Television Personalities" takes a waltz tempo and drags it behind to a car to a place the Swell Maps might've stayed the night at while the decayed but still epic "Rocketship", a tune all about going to outer space to find someone different to hang out and party with, closes the record with some Simply Saucer pop moments and a chorus that has no choice than to be stuck in your brain the rest of the day.