Review : Black Rebel Motorcycle Club - Beat The Devil's Tattoo
AllmusicBlack Rebel Motorcycle Club's 2010 album, Beat the Devil's Tattoo, finds the band splitting the difference between the rootsy Americana of 2005's Howl and the return to fuzzed-out noise rock that was 2007's Baby 81. Having once again parted ways with original drummer Nick Jago, bassist Robert Levon Been and guitarist Peter Hayes seem to have found a renewed creative spark with replacement drummer Leah Shapiro. Shapiro comes to the fold with strong noise rock credentials, having been a member of the punk-psych N.Y.C.-based Dead Combo and touring with the Raveonettes. With an overall sound that seems inspired by a searing mix of old-timey blues mixed with a hypodermic blast of melodic noise, there is a driving, wild-eyed intensity to many of the tracks on Beat the Devil's Tattoo. From the opening death-ballad title track and the gospel-meets-Madchester "Conscience Killer," the stoned robot funk of "War Machine," and the blissed-out acoustic folk ballad "Sweet Feeling," BRMC are in top form. But if you're looking for gutting-jet-engine lift-off, the cosmically epic, sanguine rock anthem "Bad Blood," with its repeated chorus of "I can see it in your eyes and now it's gone" is, like the rest of Beat the Devil's Tattoo, likely to grab you by the throat and leave its mark for some time to come....full text
BbcSomewhere between the blues and gospel spectres of the Deep South, and the political intensity that, for the most part, has characterised Black Rebel Motorcycle Club to date, Beat the Devil’s Tattoo emerges from the swampland armed with an acoustic, and desire in its belly.
After the middling, mixed reception of previous releases, Baby 81 and The Effects of 333, there’s a palpable, renewed force here, ignited by the firebrand passion that made their early output so
excitingly vital. They aren’t just saying it; they’re spitting and stomping it out, conveying the visceral sense that they’d do the same if it was on their front porch or the steps of Congress.
Returning to the same Philadelphia studio that spawned 2005’s Howl, it's not unsurprising to find that Beat the Devil's Tattoo isn't too far removed from the stripped, temperate blues of their third album. And perhaps driven by the sting of their more recent indiscretions and label wrangling, it's an album that largely triumphs with a black snake moan and the revitalised, tempestuous twin snarl of Peter Hayes and Robert Levon Been....full text
BostonBlack Rebel Motorcycle Club is very good at making records that sound like classic rock without directly ripping off that genre’s ancestors. On “Beat the Devil’s Tattoo,’’ BRMC evokes a diverse spread of forebears - Rev. Gary Davis, the Stooges, Led Zep, and Beatles - yet the band doesn’t lean straight into any prevailing wind, instead whipping up its own chaotic storms that blend analog influences into songs that make perfect sense in the digital age. Founding members Peter Hayes and Robert Levon Been enlisted former Raveonettes drummer Leah Shapiro for this freely roaming outing. Unlike previous albums, BRMC here balances its harder and softer inclinations, and the juggling occurs right within the songs, not simply from cut to cut. The title track, for instance, opens with a gospel-blues stomp before fuzzed-out electric guitars arrive to alter the landscape. Acoustic ballads, space-rock forays, and splashes of glam bubble up before it’s all over, while a pervasive darkness holds the album together. Happily, it seems BRMC’s odyssey continues. (Out tomorrow) SCOTT McLENNAN...full text
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