The Nice Device
Gig Seeker Pro

The Nice Device

Band Pop Punk


This band has not uploaded any videos
This band has not uploaded any videos


The best kept secret in music


"Pitchfork review/Birth of a Lover"

The Nice Device
Birth of a Lover
[TND; 2004]
Rating: 7.0

Too much pop can make you dizzy. It fizzes up inside; you start saying things like "neato." Pop's better in moderation, but it's best with whiskey, and The Nice Device know it. For a self-released debut EP, the Detroit fivesome's Birth of a Lover is one professional package, punching out seven songs in under 20 minutes and preferring bare-knuckle performance to bubblegum pussyfooting.

Alicia Gbur wails like a female Jim Ellison, and something in the harder edge of her voice says she knows what girls want, too, but on a track like "Never Be My Man", their racket is focused like solid state fuzz. The Nice Device aren't going to get all cute on you and start chirping about love puppies over syrupy string sections. No, "My Little Birdie" and "Oh Me Oh My" are powered by a blown tweeter rhythm guitar that cranks like it's trying to kick over an old motorbike. The keyboards are in the garage-rock vein, adding color to the choruses with vintage tones. And yet, the hooks keep bringing Lover right back to pop. Indeed, The Nice Device aren't staying in the garage, and they're certainly not wasting time noodling in the studio; they're playing out in the street, busting open fire hydrants with bursts of summertime-friendly hard pop.

Okay, they did have to spend some time in the studio. But the gritty straightforwardness brought to the proceedings by White Stripes and Mooney Suzuki producer Jim Diamond keeps these proceedings sufficiently raw, while the Brendan Benson-produced tracks showcase a rare poppy economy. The Nice Device even layer some dynamics into the brief Lover. "How Low How Obscene" slices up bibles at a slinky crawl, and features a few more of the clever vocal overdubs that surface throughout. These, of course, only further characterize Gbur, constantly preventing a fade into the chick-singer fog. "Back to the City"'s coed harmonies are great as well, and the song's ambitious, Bowie-meets-The Go arrangement makes for a nice change of pace.

Still, The Nice Device's knockout shot is straight-up, stripped-down rock 'em sock 'em hard pop bop. On "Gotta Get It", Gbur's brassy wail is like a come-hither finger from the darkest alley in the city, and "My Little Birdie" strikes a balance between charming sugar high and nuts 'n' bolts junkyard cacophony. Birth of a Lover is a remarkably strong debut, and sets The Nice Device up as your new crush for summer.

-Johnny Loftus, July 14th, 2004


"DETROIT DISC: Great Detroit band -- with melody"

Music reviews
DETROIT DISC: Great Detroit band -- with melody

August 15, 2004

Let's just get it out of the way: "Birth of a Lover" is one of the strongest debut records to emerge from the fruitful Detroit scene in two years. Rollicking along so briskly it clocks in at less than 20 minutes, the EP deftly nails that elusive mix of raw friction and sheer exuberance -- a disc that's tough and fun at once.

The Nice Device has been lurking around the fringes of the downtown rock world since 2002, fronted by vocalist-guitarist Alicia Gbur, steadily developing its own distinct take on that sound we all now cautiously call "garage rock." By early 2004, the group was ready to make the move that all smart Detroit bands do: get into the studio with ace producer Jim Diamond, and grab some added help from power-pop master Brendan Benson and compatriot Zach Shipps.

"Birth of a Lover" reveals the birth of a top-notch recording act. With Gbur providing the sugary, magnetic vocals, guitarist Matt Lannoo lays down revved-up riffing that's wise enough to stay punky and crisp before breaking into the occasional eight-bar blast of solo delirium. On the bottom, bassist Matt Hatch and drummer Nick Gerhardt move it all along with a lean fury.

The EP goes dark just once -- the theatrical tension of "Never Be My Man" -- opting elsewhere for a catchy ruckus that harkens back to some of the 1980s' friskier new-wave outfits. Opening cut "My Little Birdie" is the closest the band comes to keeping things in the garage, but even that track feels no allegiance to primitive sloppiness, breaking free to find yummy pop bliss. "Oh Me Oh My" and "Bittersweet" crank things up without forgetting to slip in a few hooks. And that gets to the root of the whole deal. The Nice Device stands out by remembering an elemental ingredient neglected by many of its Detroit peers: melody.

By Brian McCollum

- Detroit Free Press

"Three Imaginary Girls review/ "Birth of A Lover ""

The Nice Device — "Birth of a Lover" {6.8} almost great
Buy it Now!
By Stella
In the wake of the Yeah Yeah Yeahs and Sahara Hotnights, powerful female vocalists are at the forefront of the music du jour. Alicia Gbur of The Nice Device fits in nicely with said company. With her smarmy vocals and sex appeal, the boys in her band had better be ready to take back seat, to play Jimmy Destri to her Deborah Harry.
Hailing from Detroit Rock City, the Nice Device recorded their "Birth of a Lover" EP with famed producer Jim Diamond, known for his work with the White Stripes and Von Bondies, among others.
Gbur wails and growls her way around distorted guitars and hooky riffs, then sings sugary sweet pop over pounding drums and hotlicks. The combination works smartly, as the Nice Device (Matt Lannoo — guitar/vox, Nick Gerhardt — drums, Matt Hatch — bass/vox, and Zach Shipps — keys/vox/bass) slam out bluesy garage rock with a lot of sass and swagger.
On "Birth of a Lover" the Nice Device chugs out seven kicking tunes in less than 20 minutes, a near-Ramones feat. Pick up a copy now and say "I told you so" to your friends when this promising band breaks through for mainstream attention.
- Three Imaginary


"Let the Nightlife Down" JUST RELEASED!
"Gotta Get It" 7" Single /Sold Out
"Birth of a Lover" EP (7 song EP mp'3 downloads available @
available for purchase at


Feeling a bit camera shy


Their songs are pop gems that manage to be both moody and uplifting through a combination of magnetic vocals, chiming guitars, and sprightly rhythms. Artfully and exquisitely tough there’s no time like the present; like old inter-connected office rooms and frequent visits to some idealized future, the band's artistic growing pains have become evident.

At every post –millennium turn and with the addiction to perpetual newness, we look to those who are never standing still. With more than a desire to become famous among friends, this ever evolving five-some have been honing their craft for the last 5 years. Preferring to remain along the fringes they are surprisingly one of their cites best kept secrets. Their first self released debut EP “Birth Of a Lover” instantly garnered a slew of favorable reviews, and publishing deal with Puretone Records, and with the release of their new record "Let The Nightlife Down, " their song's have been featured in Degrassi: The Next Generation, Radio Free Roscoe as well as inclusion on the Maybelline New York/JANE Reader CD 2006! They have earned supporting slots for national acts such as Shiny Toy Guns, Hot Hot Heat, The (International) Noise Conspiracy, Stars, The Dears, Circa Survive, The Sounds, The Von Bondies, Electric Six, and VHS or Beta to name a few. Quietly at work, crafting buoyant pop cadence they are poised to go from private to public.

Find out the lastest news at:
and at

"Let the Nightlife Down" JUST RELEASED!
"Gotta Get It" 7" Single /Sold Out
"Birth of a Lover" EP (7 song EP mp'3 downloads available @
available for purchase at


"Pourquoi? Bring on the pop gems. If this band doesn't open a major music festival next year, we are gonna have words. They've already garnered the great reviews (including this one right here) and have an artful and uplifting sound that makes us dance right in our cubicles. You heard them first, Jane readers."
Jane Magazine - Maybelline New York

"... An amazing record. The Nice Device stand head and shoulders above the sometimes incestuous sounding Detroit rock scene, delivering a mature and energetic album of pop gems that you can't shake out of your head if you try. But why would you? It's incredibly rare for a band to deliver hard driving rock anthems and delicate electro ballads with such natural ease ... sometimes within one song. This is a band bigger than any city or genre can hold. Sit back, enjoy, and rock the fuck out.

"The Nice Device does brilliant indie-pop, and will shatter any pre-conceived notion you have about Detroit music."