Black Rebel Motorcycle Club - Wrong Creatures
Black Rebel Motorcycle Club
Black Rebel Motorcycle Club have always positioned themselves as the defiant voice in Rock & Roll. They have constantly tried to step into the shoes of The Velvet Underground, Suicide and the Jesus & Mary Chain and in doing so buck the system just like those bands did. However this new album, their eighth, finds them seemingly out of ideas and in trying to be different they sound exactly the same. Black Rebel Motorcycle Club for the most part have been more about a vibe than actual music. Their music was done, and has been done over and over again for years but tons of bands trying to relive some of Rock & Roll's glory days but few have put so much effort in to cultivating that vibe. The "I don't give a fuck" is turned up to 11 on this album with the band seemingly so cool that they can't really be bothered to care. "King of Bones" has this jam section that is so self indulgent yet moves the song absolutely no where. This kind of music could not sound more dated or more out of touch in 2018 really loosing any impact it might have had. This kind of music has been played for over 50 years and it just seems like all the tricks have been played at this point. Then there are the songs like the almost six minute "Haunt" which is an absolute bore, droning on and on. Peter Hayes channels Lou Reed on this track, with only slightly more excited delivery. "Echo" feels like big festival anthem, allowing the guitars to screech and wail, but every second, every sound on this album feels wholly predictable. This is exactly what a Black Rebel Motorcycle Club albums should sound like and that's exactly why it misses the mark by such a wide margin.
There are the occasional guitar riffs or ad libs that at least at a sprinkle of excitement to the album, but those moments are fleeting at best. There are so many tracks well over five minutes on this record and for seemingly no reason, they just drone on and on in a groove until you can't take another second of listening to it. "Ninth Configuration" repeats itself for almost the entire six minutes and fifty-two seconds with just the slightest hint of a solo or something to break it up. The twelve tracks here sprawl to almost an hour, which if it was exciting: fantastic, but it just is not. At six minutes and fourty-five seconds "Calling Them All Way" tries to be this Sargent Peppers-esque musical exploration but what Black Rebel Motorcycle gang forget is those songs still had a beat, still had a point and still evoked some kind of positive response. This record feels like a bunch of noise at times and just because they are hanging tight to older ideas of what rock & roll should be doesn't mean that way they are going is all that good. I would be really hard pressed to recommend this record to someone because it just does absolutely nothing and it doesn't even feel like an ending, just some kind of boring middle. A word to the wise: skip.
4.0 out of 10