B.R.M.C. – 'Wrong Creatures' (2018)

21 March 2018
news page

BLACK REBEL MOTORCYCLE CLUB has been around for some 20 years and has been able to transform before our eyes from skinny rock'n'roll dudes in leather jackets to... well, much more staid (though world famous) dudes in leather jackets. A whole lot has happened over the course of all these years, but yet some things stay the same. BLACK REBEL MOTORCYCLE CLUB’s eight album pretty much offers the band’s main dish. Which, in fact, is great!

Let’s get back to 2001, where it all began. BRMC kinda hit the jackpot with the fresh rendition of age-old rock’n’roll tricks. Let’s be totally honest and admit that the San Francisco band never really offered some groundbreaking musical innovation. 
From day one they do what they do best – cocky, yet beautifully melodic indie rock. The type we know and love since, say Velvet Underground, The Jesus and Mary Chain and Ride. Somewhat we owe their present mainstream status to the fact that they had it out right before Strokes, Kings of Leon and the likes. This has turned them into some kind of godfathers of a new three-chord revival. 
Since then, BRMC has gone through and through. Great albums, sold-out tours, and at least one serious staff change. The band also survived at least two serious crises. In 2010, the band went through hell and back after the death of Rob's father, Michael Been (BRMC sound engineer, also known from the band The Call). In 2014 the news broke out that drummer Lee Shapiro had a serious health problem which, luckily, seems under control now. However, BLACK REBEL MOTORCYCLE CLUB is still going strong, unlike many others.
Musically, Wrong Creatures is quite predictable and somehow moderate. Without cheating on their main thing, the album is closer to the BRMC's first releases than the folk adventures in Howl (2005). The album offers 12 mid-tempo cinematic songs with rich harmonies that will stick to your mind with a couple of listenings. All this will definitely appeal to the band’s die-hard fans, but Wrong Creatures is also a great introduction to BRMC's music. Just in case you’ve been sleeping on their music for the past 17 years.
While I'm not certain this is a sought-after effect, Wrong Creatures sounds much like a movie soundtrack. Grim landscapes and long muscle car rides on endless American highways suit the music quite well. This feeling gets me from the start with the opening atmospheric track “DFF”, and flows smoothly into “Spook”. The whole cinematic ambiance totally feels at home by the time you reach “Haunt” – the 4th track from the album. Without rapid changes or a significant outburst, the highway ride reaches “Little Thing Gone Wild”, then fades smoothly. The piano in “All Rise” final is perfect for the closing credits. 
After all, Wrong Creatures may just be one of those albums where you discover something else with each spinning of the record. There is not much left of the early BRMC rebel-without-a-cause pose, but certainly Wrong Creatures has a lot more depth than their earlier works.
In conclusion, rock'n'roll is definitely not dead, it just goes to bed at a much more reasonable hour. 
Personal favorite: “Haunt” - a perfect fit for a Tarantino movie.
Source: RadioTangra.com