Gritty rock act Detroit Rebellion certainly have a style worked out for themselves. As their album title, The Man, would suggest, there is a level of punk whimsy about this record, especially in the band’s lyrical and vocal decisions. Topped off with an (at times) ZZ Top-style blues finish, Detroit Rebellion are content to flash their modus operandi at any opportunity. However, that seems to be all they’re doing on The Man to any great end. The record feels as if it has been adapted a bit too seamlessly from the band’s live efforts, with the limited vocal alterations and garage rock-style production quality adding both an air of live authenticity and mundanity once the same style is repeated over and over. This wouldn’t be an issue if the band departed more often from their riff-based style of songwriting, which often seems a little uninspired.
The moments of variation on this record often feel forced, as with the addition of vocal echoes on “Detroit Rebellion of ’67” and the use of whistling on “Fork in the Road”. In fairness, some of the band’s efforts to diversify come off well; the refreshingly philosophical “Speak Your Mind” is a notable example here. While Detroit Rebellions’ partiality for fundamental guitar licks may become a bit tiring for some, they are at least loyal to their signature brand of lo-fi rock.