20080423

The Bob Seger System - Ramblin' Gamblin' Man (1968)

Reviewed by The Seth Man:

"Long before he was firing blanks with the latter day AOR-friendly Silver Bullet Band, Seger formed the three-man Bob Seger System in Detroit in 1968, and their testimonial of a debut fused Seger’s gritty soul vocalizing held in the balance of unbelievably heavy power trio-ing. Cast aside all notions of Seger’s pre-dated Mellencampian schlock the likes of “Night Moves,” “Hollywood Nights” or his Raspberries rip off: “Rock’n’Roll Never Forgets” (And speaking of that song, that’s just a bunch of fist-pumping malarkey both in the manner of its execution as well as sentiment. And if it never forgets, exactly why the hell am I writing this, anyway?)

Heh, before I rephrase that, let me testify to this immaculate slice of pure Detroit glory: IT ROCKS, and rocks hard. Although extending the Motor City metaphor might be overdoing it, in the case of this album it's justified -- pumping pistons and firing all cylinders at once with rhythms every bit as relentless, straightforward and driving as only the best Detroit rock’n’roll could do. And the locked in snare/heavy bass drum pattern that Iggy borrowed from The Supremes’ “You Can’t Hurry Love” on “Lust For Life” is present on “Ramblin’ Gamblin’ Man”: along with a variety of equally strong, lumpen and thumpin’ beats. While Bob Seger handles the guitar and vocals, bassist Don Honaker and drummer Pep Perrine complete a trio that thrashes out mightily within the mikings of live-in-the-studio-and-let-the-music-do-the-talkin’ as the thump and crash meshes with Seger’s croakin’ and moanin’ about love, life, women, the draft and just plain getting it on.

On “Ramblin’ Gamblin’ Man”, Bob’s got the fever in a big way. His gravelly vocals are Stax-Voltaging to the hilt, like the biggest soul holler feller ever and the way he squeezes out his wailings make that last quarter inch of toothpaste seem easily accessible by comparison. Pep Perrine’s drumming style is total class, clash and outrageous bombast. He must have lined not only his double bass drums with multiple layers of tin foil, but his tom-toms and snare to boot because his simple and explosive style busts into areas only John Bonham had reached at this time. And his double bass drums were customised to extend several feet longer in length and as a result looks -- and sounds -- like a pair of cannons. Honaker’s no slouch either, but they’re all so locked in together to create a single torrent of intent that comes raining down in a beautiful, beautiful noise. Noise you wish you could drown out your neighbours for all eternity with. Noise you want to kiss for being so perfect, so THERE and right on." (more...)

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7 comments:

Stuart Shea said...

...and indeed this may be the heaviest rock and roll record ever recorded without a guitar.

Dayton Chrome said...

Oh my god... I had no idea that Bob Seger actually rocked back in the day.

Keep up the good work...

eyeeatmusic said...

Who Knew Seger was so Kool, I Didnt till bout 3years ago
I ran about like a chicken with my head cut off snappin up everything I could from this era of his music career after hearing this record

Executive Dreamer said...

Great album. The song "2+2=?" is KILLER!!

Doohickie said...

Awesomeness. I really, really, really liked Bob Seger. Live Bullet was the first album I ever owned and I played the tracks off it. Unfortunately he lost that edge soon afterward and by 1980 we were stuck with a Seger prom theme of "We've Got Tonight", a crappy ballad about a one -night stand. Oh well. I hope release the old stuff to CD soon!

david thomas said...

Hi Crotchbat, Don't know if your blog still exists. I would be forever in your debt if you uploaded this one. Lol.

Thanks,
David.

Crotchbat said...

@david thomas > it doesn't exist, really. But here's a link to a lovely FLAC torrent.