HARD LESSONS, THE: Gasoline: CD

It’s the music Detroit’s most recently known for—crunchy, soulful, toe-tappin’, drinkin’, stripped-bare rock. The surprise difference is soaring female vocals with the fortitude of Janis Joplin, the guilelessness of Edie Brickell, and the veracity of Neko Case. Swaggering, husky, complementary male vocals, clanging cymbals, concussion-inducing guitar, cerebral organ, and assorted percussive instruments (is that a vibraphone?). MC5 in some places, Bob Seger in others, the whole organized mess culminates in a sound that’s refined enough for NPR and bittersweet enough for the rest of us.

 –thiringer (No Fun)