Splitting wax with Robocop is proving to have been an instructive, if not pivotal moment, for Alberta’s Detroit. Every release since has been an evolutionary leap as Detroit comes to better grips with their modern twist on grind and power violence. For their first long player, Reality Denied, the band tries their hand at closing with not just one but two different soundscapes, including the title track, that nod back to splitmates Robocop, even if neither really captures that same unsettling Cronenberg/Tsukamoto vibe that undergirds the Maine bastards' best work. Whether it’s the shrieking “Stand In” or the feedback frazzled windup of “Exhaustion,” the extra girth of a full length gives Detroit the space to play and as a result Reality Denied is probably the band’s most assured and confident release to date.
Wonderfully shitty coffee can snare beats rattle against vocals that nibble at the heels of J. Randall and J.R. Hayes. Driving it all, buried in the live in the room mix, is a slashing guitar that whips at the other participants like a dogsled driver bringing the lash. The whole thing rides that kamikaze line between collapsing under its own weight and punching through your wall to grab you by the throat. It’s a precarious position Detroit have staked out, but when they cut loose into the blasting end piece of “Alone” or the way the stumbling, staccato “Passion Devoid” slams into the grinding “Leviathan” synergy elevates their garage punk thrashings. Detroit have always impressed me, but like their namesake city’s finest muscle cars, the band has a found another gear and really revved themselves up for .