On the Ice Pick Slim EP, the MC5 show themselves to be capable of free-form jamming as well as more structured blues. The very clean live recording of "The Motor City Is Burning" makes it evident that their strength lies in the blues. "The Motor City Is Burning" is the MC5 at their best -- an outstanding recording that at least equals the track of the same name on the Kick Out the Jams LP. The two 20-minute free jams, which include John Sinclair on saxophone and Rob Tyner playing the flute, fall short of the band's aspirations. The power and emotion of John Coltrane and Sun Ra is hard to capture when the band's manager is playing an instrument he has far from mastered. With the title "I'm Bad Like Eldridge Cleaver," the third track would be expected to be thick politics and references to the current events of the time, but the lyrics are simply John Lee Hooker's "I'm Bad Like Jesse James" with a name change. Throughout the two jams, the energy of the MC5 shines through, making the recordings very distinct and interesting. The Ice Pick Slim EP is an entertaining document of one of the few rock bands that have ever made a serious attempt to bring rock and free jazz together.
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AllMusic Review by Matt Whalley