Black Rebel Motorcycle Club
Beat The Devil's Tattoo
In Beat the Devil’s Tattoo, Black Rebel Motorcycle Club remains loyal to their emblematic sound—pounding out some hard-rocking, grungy tunes full of distortion while throwing in a few doses of some blues and more rootsier sounds. While certainly not at the same level as 2005’s Howl, BRMC’s greatest exploration of American blues and folk music, the band does incorporate more of that sound into this effort than their 2007 release Baby 81—and it lends the group a more sophisticated sound. The title track “Beat the Devil’s Tattoo” begins with a simple blues lick before developing into a full-scale shredfest. “River Styx” also follows a comparable pattern. They know how to play loud, and make no mistake, they do it pretty damn well, but it’s the simpler, softer tracks like “Sweet Feeling” that they could use more of. The very heavy garage rock gets a bit repetitive in more than a few instances—for example “Shadow’s Keeper”. In any case, though, Beat the Devil’s Tattoo is a strong release. BRMC clearly knows how to turn the volume up and play some no-nonsense rock and roll. Although some of their tracks gets a bit tiring at times, the band has an authentic sound to it—and that’s definitely worth something these days.
-- Cole Stangler
"The Cosmic American Radio Music Hour," Saturdays 2-4 pm on WGTB