Californian rockers return this week with their 5th Album.
Black Rebel Motorcycle Club – Beat The Devil’s Tattoo
BRMC have managed to incorperate both earlier garage scuzz melodies of the debut LP and more recently the psychadelic swing of their last album Howl. As an admirer of both these albums there is plenty for any fan to get his teeth into.
Cranking up the fuzz has worked nicely for BRMC and what could be just monotonous rambling lines have a lethal bite. They add to the floaty ethereal atmospherics and combined with the drawn out effect heavy vocals manage to keep you interested…just.
Good thing then that they havent forgotten how to spank their axes. The first real kick in the teeth comes with Concious Killer knocking a cracking blues lick for six. Mama Taught Me Better is another pumped up rocker and Shadow’s Keeper is laced with attitude and a thumping melody.
Critique would be that much of the album falls into a mystifying buzz. But as much as I want to dismiss the drone drenched plodding tunes I find it hard not to be captivated. Drifting along on a tide of BRMC feedback is a superbly blissful place to be, one where life is good…in a noisy way.
The title track kickstarts the album appropriately with the familiar Gospel-influenced Blues we’ve come to associate with BRMC. There’s a point early in the album when it seems that it might get bogged down by a string of drony songs (Bad Blood, War Machine, Sweet Feeling, Evol); it’s only with fuzzed up rock of Mama Taught Me Better and the menacing River Styx, before the feeling subsides.
Even the slower songs seem more interesting by that point; The Toll is a beautiful country ballad, with guest female vocals courtesy of Courtney Jaye, complete with a harmonica refrain; and Aya, which starts with a lumbering couple of verses, before the chorus is howled out 2 minutes in.
There’s killer riffs on Shadow’s Keeper, a blues rock romp, and Half-State (reigning in at 10 mins long) is an epic blues jam. Overall, it’s a good album once you fight through a relatively brief depressing period.
DoesItRock Overall Score: 7.25
Listen to Black Rebel Motorcycle Club – Beat The Devil’s Tattoo now on Spotify!