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

Anohni: Hopelessness (Rough Trade)

Anohni: Hopelessness (Rough Trade)

Formerly Antony (of Antony and the Johnsons), Anohni here fully embraces not just his femininity but leaps straight into brittle and often dazzlingly appropriate electronica from Hudson Mohawke... > Read more

IN BRIEF: A quick overview of some recent international releases

IN BRIEF: A quick overview of some recent international releases

With so many CDs commanding and demanding attention Elsewhere will run this occasional column which scoops up releases by international artists, in much the same way as our SHORT CUTS column... > Read more

Elsewhere at Elsewhere

Edinburgh, Scotland: Lauriston Castle and New Orleans

Edinburgh, Scotland: Lauriston Castle and New Orleans

Although separated by culture and the vast Atlantic Ocean, there is a curious link between the multi-cultural, musical city of New Orleans and an antique-filled castle in a leafy suburb of... > Read more

HARRY MANX INTERVIEWED (2104): Has slide, has travelled

HARRY MANX INTERVIEWED (2104): Has slide, has travelled

Born on the Isle of Man, grew up in Canada, busked around Europe, lived in Japan for a decade, at 34 traveled to India to learn how to play the complex 20-string Mohan Veena under master... > Read more