City Slang: “Rollin’ & Tumblin’” revisited

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I don’t even know if “revisited” is the right word here. Rollin’ & Tumblin’ might be one of the most criminally overlooked albums to have ever come out of Detroit, so it was never really visited in the first place, or at least, not by nearly as many people as should have.

Personnel-wise, the Motor City Rockers featured Romantics drummer Jimmy Marinos, as well as Robert Gillespie of the “New” MC5, the Torpedos and, more recently, Powertrane.

This album came out in ’93 and was obviously looking to sit comfortably alongside the hair metal bands of the day. Detroit was lacking in that area, with only Seduce making any real strides nationally. Sadly for the MCR’s, grunge was about to kill that music stone dead, and their hairstyles were about six months away from looking dated.

But who cares about that crap? The truth is, Marinos’s songwriting is on top form here. His voice sounds great, as does Gillespie’s guitar and, in fact, the rest of the band. The songs might have titles like “When the Cat’s Away”, “Sex Bomb” and “Rotten Candy”, but there’s a surprising lack of cheese here. Marinos was always a power-pop songwriter in the Cheap Trick mold and these ten songs, while sleazy and fun, are classy tunes. Give it a try.


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