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Black Rebel Motorcycle Club - Wrong Creatures (Album Review)

Tuesday, 16 January 2018 Written by Graeme Marsh

Black Rebel Motorcycle Club’s eighth album sees a return to their dark, moody core while occasionally pushing out into dreamy shoegaze.

Nick Launay - renowned producer of Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds, Arcade Fire et al - dives into this gloomy stew for ‘Wrong Creatures’, which was recorded in the band’s Los Angeles studio.

As with any BRMC LP, it’s a case of digging below the surface to seek out the hidden nuggets, most of which are – as ever – drenched in layers of fuzz and doomy guitars. It seems that this time they’ve largely managed to balance style and substance, but that still remains a burden in places.

King of Bones does its best but despite a dirty, doomy riff, its stodginess and lack of melodic shape results in something long-term influence the Jesus And Mary Chain would have left on the cutting-room floor.

Another plodder, Question of Faith, echoes the spirit of the Doors between noisy bursts of life, while the faster Little Thing Gone Wild comes unstuck in a messy mash-up. The bland Carried From The Start epitomises the band’s capacity to be faceless and Circus Bazooko, although vastly different, is an uninspiring curiosity.

There is, however, enough to outshine these dips into mediocrity. The prowling Spook is classic BRMC, like a menacing predator stalking its prey. Calling Them All Away, meanwhile, basks in typical coolness before a soaring chorus takes hold.

Three simple piano chords open swooning closer All Rise before the slowburner builds nicely, and excellent centrepiece Ninth Configuration manages to sound like a missing track from the Verve’s psychedelic masterpiece ‘Urban Hymns’ while also recalling Oasis’ Champagne Supernova via its repetitive guitar lick.

The middle of the album also boasts two magnificent moments. The anthemic, Cave-like Haunt emerges before shades of Lou Reed’s Walk on the Wild Side appear in the bassline of Echo. The track then develops into a gem wrapped in a spine-tingling shoegaze shroud.

For 20 years, Black Rebel Motorcycle Club have been knocking on the door rather than occupying the spotlight, and things don’t change on ‘Wrong Creatures’.

If a bit more fat had been trimmed, the leaner version would have been warmly welcomed but, as it stands, the album once again finds itself weighed down by its filler. That considered, it’s still a safe bet for the upper echelons of their catalogue.

Black Rebel Motorcycle Club Upcoming Tour Dates are as follows

Tue January 16 2018 - PHOENIX Arizona - Van Buren (USA)
Thu January 18 2018 - DALLAS Texas - Granada Theater (USA)
Fri January 19 2018 - AUSTIN Texas - Stubbs BBQ (USA)
Sat January 20 2018 - HOUSTON Texas - House Of Blues - Houston (USA)
Sun January 21 2018 - NEW ORLEANS Louisiana - House Of Blues - New Orleans (USA)
Tue January 23 2018 - TAMPA Florida - Ritz Ybor (USA)
Wed January 24 2018 - FORT LAUDERDALE Florida - Revolution Live (USA)
Fri January 26 2018 - ORLANDO Florida - Beacham (USA)
Sat January 27 2018 - CHARLOTTE North Carolina - Underground - Charlotte (USA)
Mon January 29 2018 - WASHINGTON District Of Columbia - 9:30 Club (USA)
Tue January 30 2018 - PHILADELPHIA Pennsylvania - Union Transfer (USA)
Wed January 31 2018 - BOSTON Massachusetts - Royale Boston (USA)
Fri February 02 2018 - BROOKLYN New York - Brooklyn Steel (USA)
Mon February 05 2018 - MONTREAL Quebec - Club Soda - QC (Canada)
Tue February 06 2018 - TORONTO Ontario - Rebel - Toronto (Canada)
Wed February 07 2018 - DETROIT Michigan - Majestic Theatre - MI (USA)
Fri February 09 2018 - COLUMBUS Ohio - Newport Music Hall (USA)
Sat February 10 2018 - CHICAGO Illinois - Vic Theatre (USA)
Sun February 11 2018 - MINNEAPOLIS Minnesota - First Avenue (USA)
Mon February 12 2018 - ST LOUIS Missouri - Delmar Hall (USA)
Tue February 13 2018 - KANSAS CITY Missouri - Truman - Kansas City (USA)
Thu February 15 2018 - DENVER Colorado - Ogden Theatre (USA)
Fri February 16 2018 - SALT LAKE CITY Utah - Metro Music Hall (USA)
Sun February 18 2018 - PORTLAND Oregon - Roseland Theater (USA)
Mon February 19 2018 - VANCOUVER British Columbia - Commodore Ballroom (Canada)
Tue February 20 2018 - SEATTLE Washington - Showbox at the Market (USA)
Thu February 22 2018 - OAKLAND California - Fox Theater - Oakland (USA)
Fri February 23 2018 - POMONA California - Glass House (USA)
Sat February 24 2018 - LOS ANGELES California - Henry Fonda Theatre (USA)
Thu May 03 2018 - NASHVILLE Tennessee - Marathon Music Works (USA)
Fri May 04 2018 - CARRBORO North Carolina - Cat's Cradle (USA)

Click here to compare & buy Black Rebel Motorcycle Club Tickets at Stereoboard.com.

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