The Nice Device



Face it; every Detroit band worth its salty tears has gotta know how to rock in overdrive. When they roll call all the great Motor City aggregations, it’s never something like Bread or Four Jacks and Jill — which incidentally was an actual band from South Africa that specialized in morbid folk songs that Fred Willard would actually enjoy in real life. So it’s no surprise that the Nice Device can pound persistently behind Alicia Gbur and keep her songs from sounding like Josie and the Pussycats outtakes. They rawk and they even do the trick of speeding up like a Swiss bobsled on “How Low How Obscene” for no good reason but to demonstrate how effortlessly they return to terra firma without bumping into things. What is a surprise is when we’re shown the midtempo and we get drony, ethereal mod-pop like “Never Be My Man” that sounds purposeful like a single and unreasonable like The Kills on a good day. I even had to check the credits on “Back to the City” ’cause I was convinced it was some lost Flamin’ Groovies cut. That’s high praise from a guy who thought he heard the word “hand job” on “My Little Birdie” and got his hopes up for nothing. Besides, what’s not to love about a disc that sports both guitar hero Zach Shipps and Brendan Benson twiddling the knobs?

E-mail Serene Dominic at

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

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.