Black Rebel Motorcycle Club - Wrong Creatures - Albums - Reviews - Soundblab

Black Rebel Motorcycle Club - Wrong Creatures

by James Weiskittel Rating:8 Release Date:2018-01-12
Black Rebel Motorcycle Club - Wrong Creatures
Black Rebel Motorcycle Club - Wrong Creatures

While it may be hard to imagine, we are now seventeen years removed from the throwback rockers Black Rebel Motorcycle Club’s self-titled debut.  And over the course of seven albums, the BRMC have proven themselves to be one of indie-rock’s more reliable outfits, somehow managing to side-step many of the cliched ‘overnight success’ pitfalls while dutifully touring and recording one throwback garage-rock classic after another.

Wrong Creatures comes on the heels of a particularly tumultuous period for the band.  Following the release of 2013’s Specter At The Feast, the band toured themselves into the proverbial ground and found themselves dealing with everything from depression to drummer Leah Shapiro’s life-threatening medical issues (which ultimately led to brain surgery).

But for all of the personal and professional turmoil that preceded it, Wrong Creatures plays more like a triumphant return to form than the introspective reflection that one might expect.  Over the course of the album’s twelve tracks, the band (rounded out by guitarist Peter Hayes and bassist Robert Levon Been) channels the acid-washed power-trio sound of their heyday to great effect.

Wrong Creatures is filled with confident rockers (like the de facto album-opening “Spook”, and fuzz-laden “King Of Bones”) and brooding dirges (the appropriately titled “Haunt” and the slow-burn “Question Of Faith"), giving the record’s obvious singles (like the backbeat-driven “Little Thing Gone Wild” and the blissfully mid-tempo “Echo”) a satisfying sense of context.  The album’s final two tracks, the soaring “Carried From The Start” and the piano-driven “All Rise” bring the whole affair to a rewarding climax, closing the record out with a couple of the band’s best songs in recent memory.

BRMC’s decision to work with producer Nick Launay (Nick Cave amongst others) this time around has paid dividends as well, as Wrong Creatures has a raw, unlabored mix that both strips away any sense of artifice from the record’s quieter numbers while also adding some 'oomph' and muscle to the more rocked-out moments.

While no one would accuse the Black Rebel Motorcycle Club of reinventing the wheel with record number seven, that’s hardly the point for these stalwart garage-rockers.  And in an era where rock-n-roll continues to find it’s pop culture presence marginalized, BRMC’s persistent adherence to their throwback roots is easily one of the band’s greatest strengths; and the fact that Wrong Creatures is chock full of some damn good songs is merely the proverbial ‘icing on the cake’.

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