Black Rebel Motorcycle Club/Specter At The Feast

Black Rebel Motorcycle Club (often abbreviated as BRMC) is an American rock band from San Francisco, CA. The group consists of Peter Hayes (vocal, guitar), Robert Levon Been (bass, vocal), and Leah Shapiro (drums). Former drummer Nick Jago left the band in 2008 to focus on his solo project.

They have released seven studio albums: B.R.M.C. (2001), Take Them On, On Your Own (2003), Howl (2005), Baby 81 (2007), The Effects of 333 (2008), Beat the Devil’s Tattoo (2010), and Specter at the Feast (2013). And also several EP’s, and live albums.

They are influenced by bands such as: The Brian Jonestown Massacre, The Verve, The Rolling Stones, T. Rex, The Velvet Underground, The Call, Love and Rockets, Daniel Ash, and The Jesus and Mary Chain.

The Analysis—-

Firewalker—-Deep, dark and sedate as the music begins and sucks you into this release…much as you have come to expect. As the intro instrumentation seems to take forever, you are finally greeted to a bit of a more solid baseline and a bit of fuzz. The vocal finally makes an entrance…sounding a bit drained and lackadaisical.. I wonder if the inspiration n still intact….but there is an underlying emotional whine I like. This is not a huge favorite…but the blended vocals later in  the song resonate with me….

Let The Day Begin—-Ahh…this has much more life and energy for me….making me want to stomp my feet. This is perhaps the most brilliant I have ever heard this band sound. The vocal is full of a slight whine and energy that sucks you right in. The music is loud and bombastic…..the whole thing makes me rather happy…but somehow makes me think of Tom Petty…..go figure.

Returning—-Airy and full of mood at the onset, there is a stillness that is amazing. The vocal enters and transports you into a slight Verve space that makes you want to hear Bittersweet Symphony. This is beautiful…the vocal hitting incredible falsettos and the baseline building and building to a noisy crashing wall that makes the entire thing huge. Magnificent!

Lullaby—-An acoustic guitar? Wow…the band surprises me and makes me walk with a slight smile today. The sound is dreamy and wavy…much more in tune with the crush of poppy, dream music I have experienced in the last few years. This is one of the most beautiful songs I have heard this band produce.

Hear The Taste—-Returning to a more familiar sound on this track, the pervading bass line drives the song along and the vocal is allowed to be more urgent. Even though it seems as if everything is pushed to the back of the mix except the guitars, the song is still huge and familiar.

Rival—-Now….this is what this band was always about! That noisy JAMC reference that first attracted me to them to begin with. This has a huge chorus though…so ingenuity never takes away from originality. This is brilliant…a huge wall of noise…energy and a vocal that is stunning!

Teenage Disease—-Feedback and a speedy guitar welcome you right at the onset of this track. The song is huge….I would think that played live…this would turn into a free for all. This is brilliant….almost as if the band found a hidden inspiration halfway through recording this whole affair. This is the BRMC I wanted and needed.

Some Kind Of Ghost—-At the onset, we return to a more moody and introspective sound that sounds a bit foreign to me…again….sounding like Tom Petty!!!! This has a stripped, minimal sound that sounds almost empty in the headphone…like the inspiration dried up and ran away. This track does have a backdrop of sound that is a marching funeral sound…..fitting in but still odd for me.

Sometimes The Light—-Wow!!!! Layered and full of atmosphere, This borders on magnificent genius. This is so moody, dark and textured….I think of the Stoned And Dethroned release by JAMC!!! This is…thus far….my favorite track from this band….just BRILLIANT!!!!

Funny Games—-Coming out of the dark with a slight hum and mellow fuzz, this plays almost like an Oasis song that was never recorded. There is a nice instrumental aggression that I fall for right off….the feedback and noise makes me smile once again. The vocal is so Reid Brothers…I check the cover to make sure I have the right band…but I do…this is magnificent!

Sell It—-Rather ordinary in the delivery that is presented, there is little new here…instead seemingly a re-tread of track that were on the first half of the Cd. I can’t complain…because it is consistent…but sometimes too much of a good thing…is just that…too much!

Love Yourself—-Ending the release much as it started…with a slight unfamiliar groove that the band has fallen into,,,,the vocal though!!!! Damn extraordinary. The drawl emits pain and disdain…leaving a sad taste in your mouth that at the same time leaves you wanting more. There are a few missteps with this release…..but overall I find it pleasing to my palate.

***3/4 out of 5

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