Black Rebel Motorcycle Club: Beat the Devil's Tatoo (Abstract Dragon)

 |   |  1 min read

Black Rebel Motorcycle Club: Mama Taught Me Better
Black Rebel Motorcycle Club: Beat the Devil's Tatoo (Abstract Dragon)

When I saw the BRMC in their early days at the Troubadour in LA I came away convinced they were, if not the future of rock'n'roll, then they would have at least a lot of interesting noises to make until the future arrived.

They roared and rocked, swapped instruments, played psychedelicised rock'n'roll with references to a few other marginal styles and . . .

I fell for them.

Ours has been a rocky relationship since then however and I never felt they captured on album the magic of that night where they played to no more than maybe 100 people who air-punched and surged forward.

I quite liked parts of '05's Howl and while there are powerful and raunchy psychedelic rock manoeuvres here on their fifth album (the Exile on Main Street turned up to 11 swagger of Conscience Killer, the slewing Oasis-like Anglo-drone of Bad Blood which follows) much of this treads such a familiar path (Jesus and Mary Chain through grunge) that it ultimately fails to really connect.

You can't argue with the noisecore attack of War Machine (it would be pointless, no one could hear you) or the broad sonic landscape of Evol.

But the acoustic Sweet Feeling and The Toll add noting to what they have done previously and the prevailing mood of gloom (the title comes from an Edgar Allen Poe story) becomes a little relentless -- although the favourable reference point of Sonic Youth doing Black Sabbath doesn't seem amiss on Mama Taught Me Better.

Overlong at 13 tracks -- but the final Americana piano ballad Long Way Down and the 10 minute Half State are worth cutting straight to around the halfway mark. 

Share It

Your Comments

post a comment

More from this section   Music articles index

Various Artists: The History of Rhythm and Blues 1925-1942 (Rhythmandblues/Southbound 4 CD Set)

Various Artists: The History of Rhythm and Blues 1925-1942 (Rhythmandblues/Southbound 4 CD Set)

From the opening track on this remarkable collection -- a testifying scream of faith recorded in 1934 which calls to mind Little Richard and Hasel Adkins as much as African chants -- you are... > Read more

Robbie Fulks: Gone Away Backwards (Bloodshot/Southbound)

Robbie Fulks: Gone Away Backwards (Bloodshot/Southbound)

Country singer Fulks will always get a fair hearing at Elsewhere on the basis of one song alone, his courageous cover of Cher's Believe which he delivered solo as a slow and aching ballad (with his... > Read more

Elsewhere at Elsewhere

OF TIME AND THE CITY, a film by TERENCE DAVIES (Madman DVD)

OF TIME AND THE CITY, a film by TERENCE DAVIES (Madman DVD)

This poetic meditation on his home city of Liverpool by the great British film-maker neatly blurs fact and faction into a seamless dreamscape of reflection on what once was and what has been lost .... > Read more

PICASSO, THE FINAL MASK (2003): Into the void

PICASSO, THE FINAL MASK (2003): Into the void

In his last self-portrait -- a crayon on paper work done nine months before his death in 1973, at age 91 -- Pablo Picasso created a disconcerting image: the eyes wide as if terrified, the mouth... > Read more