Poppin’ wheelies



It was fairly common for an early Small Brown Bike live show to include friendly heckles of “you need more Hot Water Music or Jawbreaker in the monitors.” Given that its use of raspy vocal shouts and driven personal pop are obvious nods to those aforementioned groundbreakers, the Bike has held its own style of added heaviness and energy that’s somewhere between hardcore and emo, though the “e” word is deemed more of an insult these days.

What’s impressive about Small Brown Bike’s second album is that the individuals still click as musicians after all these years. Three of the members played together even before their pop-punk days of L.E.S.C. Although the melodic roots remained intact on their debut album Our Own Wars, a harsher tone is added this time.

Added aggression is also accompanied by unpredictable chord progressions and a hoarse, dual-vocal structure that prevent the Bike from falling into a comparable category. The drawbacks are that this formula is used throughout most of the 11 tracks, and that some songs on Dead Reckoning tend to sound alike. But as these Marshall natives continue to grow as songwriters, up-and-coming bands might soon hear heckles such as “more Small Brown Bike in the monitors.”

E-mail Mike DaRonco at letters@metrotimes.com.

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 letters@metrotimes.com.

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.