From the 1:57 opening strains of the first track of Black Rebel Motorcycle Club’s newest release, Wrong Creatures (Abstract Dragon/PIAS), ‘DFF’, I know I’m in for a treat. I’m instantly transported back to a Mad Max Thunderdome setting. Leather. Blood. Fire. This puts a smile on my face. I’m totally pumped for what’s to come next!
There should never be a doubt that Black Rebel Motorcycle Club delivers the goods. ‘Spook’ is a heady reverb mind-bender. It evokes dingy bars, out of focus ocular perceptions, more leather, pool tables, and large steins of beer. If you are into comparative analysis, it’s a bit like Stone Temple Pilots or a grittier new wave-esq Modern English.
One of my favourite tracks is ‘Haunt’. Robert Been‘s vocals are gobsmackingly haunting. Remember when River killed all those Reavers in the movie Serenity? They opened the door and Kaylee looked at her? THIS is the song that should have been playing. As River stood there with the blades, blood dripping from her body, dead Reavers at her feet. The look of shock and horror on the faces of the Serenity crew… ‘Haunt’…? Just this.
The songs after are a psychedelic melting-into-the-sofa opium high. Each composition blends and weaves into each other in a cadenza of colour and light. The entire production of ‘Ninth Configuration’ pounds you and pulls you until you don’t know what is up or down. You drown in the music; it’s overwhelming. But at this point, you’re only halfway through the album. Black Rebel Motorcycle Club provides no quarter. ‘Question of Faith’ showcases my two favourite things: bass and drums. Leah Shapiro on drums keeps a hypnotic beat while Been’s bass provides what is best described as sexual chocolate. ‘Question of Faith’ drips with sinister erotic tension.
The wicked cool thing about Black Rebel Motorcycle Club and Wrong Creatures is that they throw in these ditties that are just amazingly suave and rockin’ out. ‘Little Things Gone Wild’ and ‘Circus Bazooko’ are bitchin’ Ready! Steady! Go! Laugh In tracks. The latter reminds me of something John Lennon would’ve written for The Beatles’ Sgt. Pepper. (I stopped writing to dance about the flat.) So yeah, Black Rebel Motorcycle Club’s Wrong Creatures is a definite buy!