Black Rebel Motorcycle Club: Wrong Creatures

by Griff Stevens

We all have our passions, and for some that passion is an obsession that becomes a lifestyle. The latter is the case for the rock’n’roll band Black Rebel Motorcycle Club. Based in East Hollywood, of course, they are: the bleary-eyed, chain-smoking Peter Hayes (guitar, vocals) and his co-habiting bandmate Leah Shapiro (drums), bassist Robert Levon Been, Hayes’ BRMC co-founder. As a trio, they seem to favor unsettled dark tones and driving beats, going for rocks most primal passion. BRMC has just released, Wrong Creatures (the trio’s seventh studio), the songwriting is intense, and it will bring the most elusive dark rock’n’roll creatures to the surface to have a listen.

“Echo” brings the psychedelic deep bass groove out for Hayes’ vocals to lament over. The melody unfolds the story, the song form is structured, and the trio is all in, this is a great example of BRMC’s strong powerful trio sound.  Full echo drenched guitar parts, smoky basslines and Shapiro’s constant drum pulse builds the core of the band sound. The rest is pure livin’ the life of rock’n’roll straight from the heat.

The album has a more laid-back approach than one of the past, but the deliciously filthy “Little Thing Gone Wild” does kick it up a notch. With a catchy guitar hook and a rock’n’roll jungle groove that is contagious, this track is sonic satisfaction in mood, melody and lyrics. The vocal harmonies are excellent on this track. Also, of note is the amount of sound these three create together!

Wrong Creatures has a haunting atmosphere about it, there are contemplative moments, bluesy moments, but this is probably the cleanest and most accessible BRMC album to date!  Rock’n’roll is in good hands with BRMC.  Overall, this is a nice return to form for BRMC. Wrong Creatures is a strong addition to their ever growing catalog.

Tracks to sample first: “Echo,” “Little Thing Gone Wild,” and “Ninth Configuration.” The song to take a chance on is “Spook.”

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