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...)