Saturday, December 09, 2006

Mick Collins in Review

While writing for Tablet (2001-2005), I contributed three Mick Collins-related reviews. Since the local alt-monthly n'existe pas, I'm reproducing them here so as to continue to spread the gospel (hey Collins, if you ever find yourself in need of a new publicist, look no further!). I've included the grades/scores I gave each effort at the time. Though Tablet began by using numerical scores, in the final year, we assigned grades, much like the Seattle P-I or Entertainment Weekly. Note that the word count also shrank between 2003-2005, hence the mini-review at the end.


Blacktop, I Got A Baaad Feelin' About This -
The Complete Recordings, In the Red (9/10)

Long before the White Stripes launched their debut and long after the Stooges called it a day, Mick Collins was kicking out the jams with "houserockin'" trio the Gories. Between their dissolution and the birth of the Dirtbombs, he formed short-lived blues-rock monster Blacktop (among numerous side projects). Tracks 1-14, recorded in a mere 18 hours (before he had even finished writing the lyrics), stem from their sole album, I Got a Baaad Feelin' About This (1995). The other 12 (mostly covers) stem from singles. Despite the band's turbulent existence—most of the mon-
ey they made went to feed guitarist Darin Linn Wood's inexhaus-
tible drug habit—the music holds up. And as much as I love the 'Stripes, I believe Collins should be just as famous as Jack White—and Iggy Pop, come to think of it. The man's a Detroit legend!

The Dirtbombs, Dangerous Mag-
ical Noise, In The Red (9.5/10)

Mick Collins claims he doesn't play garage. You could've fooled me. I thought all Collins projects—the Gories, the Screws, etc.—were garage. After giving it a good listen, however, I think he's got a point regarding the Dirtbombs' third. Consequently, my first reaction was disappointment. Far from slick, Dangerous Magical Noise is simply more polished than that grimy new Blacktop collection, I Got a Baaad Feeling About This. It also rocks. Hard. Very hard indeed (two bass players and two drummers can do that). It's just not "garage." Once I got over my surprise, I couldn't stop playing the thing. Collins does, after all, profess an affinity for glam, and the influence of T-Rex and Sweet permeates the entire romping, stomping enterprise. (Along with Hendrix and the MC5.) Plus, the disc includes great covers of "King's Lead Hat" and "Executioner of Love." One of the year's best.

The Dirtbombs, If You Don't Al-
ready Have a Look, In the Red (B+)

Fifty-two non-LP tracks + two CDs (divided between originals
and covers) = 138 minutes of Motor City madness. Funny liner notes, too, including plenty of pics. When drummer Ben writes, "My least favorite Dirtbombs song ever," about "My Last Christ-
mas," it's hard not to agree. (It's not bad, just not one of their best.) As for the rest, there's something here for pretty much everyone: the Sonics-styled "Theme From The Dirtbombs," hyper-speed trib-
al-funk "Maybe Your Baby" (Stevie Wonder), and instant grunge-camp classic "I'm Saving Myself for Nichelle Nichols (No. 3)."

Endnote: Images from In The Red and The Metro Times.

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