Blood Brothers

Rob Tyner

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Blood Brothers Review

by Brian J. Bowe

As the voice behind the legendary MC5, Rob Tyner was a powerful presence. This, his first solo studio recording, found the singer in good voice, continuing to sing songs about liberation, rebellion, and brotherhood. In an interview included on the disc, Tyner relives the golden era of Detroit hard rock, a period he also chronicles in the song "Grande Days." The lyrics to that song, which was dedicated to the Grande Ballroom in Detroit, were reprinted in the booklet of the CD release of the MC5's debut masterpiece, Kick Out the Jams.

The songs feature a good measure of nostalgia but are occasionally tinged with a sense of bitterness, as on the song "Renegade." The uptempo rocker "Let's Rock" sounds like a classic MC5 song, featuring Tyner's sophisticated melodic sense juxtaposed against a stomping beat.

Unfortunately, the arrangements by guitarist Joey Gaydos are often in the vein of the squealy heavy metal that was the rage when the record was made, making this album sound by far the most dated of anything Tyner ever appeared on. Even more unfortunately, Blood Brothers was to be Tyner's last recorded work. A year later, he died of a heart attack at the young age of 46, silencing one of the most original and honest voices in heavy rock. Despite its flaws, this album gives a glimpse into Tyner's considerable talents and is worth of seeking out.