Bob Seger-Mongrel

October 18, 2008

Bob Seger

Mongrel (Capitol 1970)

Before the flood of testosterone and confidence gave way to a mere trickle from his mangina, Bob Seger was one of the biggest badasses to ever be associated with rock and roll. Just listen to “Heavy Music” or “Ramblin’ Gamblin’ Man” and you are left dumbfounded that this man later wrote “Night Moves” and “Against the Wind.” He was so cocksure and in control of a raucous band able to combine 60s soul, frat rock and gratuitous riffery that wouldn’t sound out of place on a southern rock album. This music was so male and funky that it seemed as if he would fuck or fight you in an instant.

1970’s Mongrel was his first album with a new version of the Bob Seger System band and the change in direction is apparent. Gone is the funk and an almost metallic boogie rock takes it rightful place. I love the Bob Seger System, but Mongrel snarls in a wholly different manner. I always find it hard to believe he is from the North instead of the South since some of this sounds like a southern-fried Springsteen by way of Wilson Pickett. Mongrel is a fitting title since it has digested soul, rock and blues and spit it out with a snarl usually lacking in all three genres. It is such a tight, vicious album that makes you wish there were more Seger albums in this vein. This is the last time you’ll see this Bob Seger in such consistent form. After Mongrel, this erupting phallus quickly shrunk and Seger became Buffalo Bill and performed the lamb dance.