Metro Times Blowout 17 Review Part I: YUM and The HandGrenades

When I first found out about Metro Times Blowout a few weeks ago I had to wonder how I could have missed it. A local music festival that features a long list of local bands spread over the metro-Detroit area seems like it would have been on my radar a long time ago but, alas, I have clearly been slacking. I was very happy to have found it when I did though.

The festival this year was spread out over 24 venues in Detroit, Hamtramck, and Ferndale. Purchasing a wristband gets you into any venue any day of the week, and at the low cost of $25, it was something I definitely couldn’t pass up. As I work a regular job and the bands went on later, I was only able to make it to the last two days of the festival. I still got to see 5 fantastic bands and am going to spread my review out over 3 posts.

The first night I finally got out was Friday to The Rust Belt Market in Ferndale. I could have gone to any venue to catch a completely new to me lineup of bands but the draw of some of my local favorites all playing together was just too powerful. I hadn’t seen YUM since the Secret Friends Fest back in January so they were definitely part of the reason for me choosing The Rust Belt that night. This 2 piece duo from Bay City is the perfect mix of punk, blues, and emo for my liking, and Elise Poirier’s Karen O-esque howl only makes it better.

YUM puts on a great, high energy show with Elise slaying on the guitar and Cody Marecek going so crazy on the drums that he managed to break his snare before the end of their set. Songs like “Shotgun” and “Everything I Do” make it impossible to simply stand still and take the music in. My personal favorite would have to be “Down”, a grungy, blues driven track dripping with emotion. Watching these guys play again made me glad that I had decided to see this particular line up rather than hitting up another venue.

The second band of the night was the only one that I hadn’t seen previously. The HandGrenades seemed to have quite a few fans in the audience and it was easy to see why once they started playing. Their songs are filled with catchy hooks that had everyone in The Rust Belt dancing along. The guys choose to debut some new songs from their upcoming EP, 52, which comes out May 13.

The boys kicked off their set with “Suffocating”, an infectious track that grabbed the attention of the entire venue. Probably one of the best parts of The HandGrenades’ set was their playful banter with one another and their friends in the crowd. It was clear they were having just as much fun as the audience which always makes a live show better. My favorite track was “Wrapped in Plastic”, which the guys just released a new video for.

Check out Parts II featuring Tunde Olaniran and Flint Eastwood and III featuring Motion City Soundtrack.

And don’t forget to support these talented bands by checking out their music. Both YUM and The HandGrenades have Bandcamp pages.