Its hard not to like big-beat band the Freestylers all-beats-to-all-people mix of rave, ragga, b-boy and bounce, but its hard to love.
Like Jesus Jones the better part of a decade ago, the Freestylers cleverly mix dance and modern rock elements, but, also like Jesus Jones, they have little staying power. Sure, say, a song like "B-Boy Stance" is a fun track in that ballsier-Chemical Brothers kind of way, with its hard breakbeat drums and its double-time-dub bass wobble, but home listening only suggests a further potential greatness, either live or on the dance floor. No crime there, except that the Freestylers are a band with a sound making a record that doesnt seem to live up to the potential of either, no matter how many hell-yeah hip-hop samples and gruff-but-hinting-at-a-pop-melody rap-sung choruses and tasteful slim-on-the-riff guitars make it into the mix. Unlike Asian Dub Foundation, which knows its way around the studio well enough to make records that both capture the live band feel and allow for the technical precision of samples and sequences, We Rock Hard does that and only that. Worse still, it does it in a genre that, by now, we know can do more than just bask in the reflective glory of all its influences. The Freestylers struggle more to contain them, rather than transcend them like, for example, the Happy Mondays once did. And, now that the Mondays have re-formed, maybe the Flers can learn a thing or two.
We welcome readers to submit letters regarding articles and content in Detroit Metro Times. Letters should be a minimum of 150 words, refer to content that has appeared on Detroit Metro Times, and must include the writer's full name, address, and phone number for verification purposes. No attachments will be considered. Writers of letters selected for publication will be notified via email. Letters may be edited and shortened for space.
Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Support Local Journalism.
Join the Detroit Metro Times Press Club
Local journalism is information. Information is power. And we believe everyone deserves access to accurate independent coverage of their community and state. Our readers helped us continue this coverage in 2020, and we are so grateful for the support.
Help us keep this coverage going in 2021. Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing membership pledge, your support goes to local-based reporting from our small but mighty team.
Join the Metro Times Press Club for as little as $5 a month.