Black Rebel Motorcycle Club



by Jeremy F STAFF
July 17th, 2006 | 27 replies

Release Date: 2005 | Tracklist

Sometimes it seems that musical fads change and vary as often as the styles in women's clothing stores. Genres rise and fall overnight, as some bands make drastic shifts in their music to stay on top of the current music 'scene'.

One such shift that has been bothering me recently is rather perplexing -- indie bands attempting to turn into Southern rock outfits. Take for example the Montreal outfit 'The Stills' who produced a rather solid indie album back in 2003. Their latest album -- bizarrely -- shifts to a country, roots rock feel that almost necessitates the additions of "Nash and Young" to the end of their band name. Although the change isn't as drastic as say, Metallica modelling themselves after the Pussycat Dolls, it still feels like an entirely different band. Advancement in music is nice, but drastic shifts tend to throw fans for a loop.

Another band to pursue this surprising course is B.R.M.C, who were previously known for creating indie music characterized with the 'wall of sound' technique. With 'Howl', B.R.M.C very consciously decides that they are no longer an indie band, but a gospel toting Southern rock group. The problem is that they were never this band to begin with -- all of their fans, perhaps even their record contract revolved around their particular sound that they have altogether abandoned.

The results, to put it mildly, are conspicuously pretentious. Crooning voices, along with vague and constant references to 'my Jesus', 'soul', and 'sin' all come across as blatant attempts to seem authentic -- while missing the point of gospel music entirely. Even the song titles seem to be trying -- desperately -- to convince you that this album is for real, with names like "Devil's Waitin'", "Weight of the World", "Restless Sinner", and perhaps, most obviously, "Gospel Song."

The music too, is generally uninspired, revolving around acoustic guitar ballads, crooning and off key vocals, and throw ins of banjos, and other instruments that you'd expect to be present in this type of music. That being said, Howl has a few good songs scattered amidst the drudgery. 'Shuffle Your Feet' is a good, solid track, and B.R.M.C would have been wise to follow this type of formula if they were so set on making this type of record. The outstanding 'Ain't No Easy Way Out' is worth a buy, with pounding 12-string guitars and an incredibly catchy vocal lick. Lastly, 'Weight of the World' isn't bad either, if a bit uninspired.

But this album is very much hit or miss. While those songs are quality, they seem to represent the limit of B.R.M.C's ability to foray into Southern rock. Howl, in the end, is a poor album, designated to be relegated into a dusty back drawer of failed expirements. This band was never a Southern rock band -- indeed, it is highly doubtful they would have even been signed if they were originally playing this material. By trying to ride the wave of contemporary critical acclaim, B.R.M.C have only managed to look ridiculous.

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user ratings (139)
other reviews of this album
T_L_H (3)
With their third studio album, "Howl", Black Rebel Motorcycle Club walk a dangerous line between ear...

Comments:Add a Comment 
south_of_heaven 11
July 17th 2006


ohhhhh so they're an Indie band? I always saw these guys next to 'Black Label Society' at Best Buy and always thought they were some Hard Rock not...nice review though, but I just won't be checking this out anytime soon.

La Revolucion
July 17th 2006


Yeah, this is pretty bad.

July 17th 2006


Album Rating: 3.5

I wouldn't call them an indie band actually....South_of_heaven11, you were actually quite accurate in your assumption. But I really didn't like their first album. I found it bland and irritating. My dad bought this, and I listened to it, and really like it. I think its a wonderful direction for the band to go in. Its very nice music, easy to listen to and melodic. Not awe-inspiringly original, but well done.

BlackDeathMetalJazz or really ANYTHING else please-
July 18th 2006


Album Rating: 3.0

Wow, I personally thought it was a vast improvement. They have changed for the better me thinks. I mean their first two albums were bland and boring both sounding the exact same. If they hadn't of changed their style they would have been finished, their fans would have moved on. There a couple of songs here that are really catchy. ("Shuffle Your Feet" in particular) This was a smart move by BRMC.

July 18th 2006


Good review, Ive never heard of this band. Guess that isnt a bad thing though, they dont sound too interesting...

Dimes Make Dollars
July 19th 2006


mx you're crazy. Sure it's inauthentic and completely misses the mark but it's 2006 and they're a bunch of white guys, what else could have happened? At least it's catchy.

August 20th 2006


Good review. I've never heard this band, and I'm actually here to inform you about something.

My other account, Psyclone, was banned for apparantly posting pr0n or hijacking. That wasn't me. I guess it was Chad who broke in and posted that using my account. I don't have access to the forums because my activation email hasn't come for hours. I'm just requesting that I have my account back, please. Thank you very much.

August 29th 2006


you guys are fuggin nuts this album is soooooooo good lyrically and musically. brmc's best prolly.

September 18th 2006


Album Rating: 3.5

I dont get it guys. This is really fine indie/folk. The intro track is extremely catchy. I dont know anything about their previous stuff but this is really enjoyable.

October 14th 2006


you all are morons, the album is great songwriting and anyone who doesnt fucking have enough patience to comprehend then you dont deserve to.

October 14th 2006


Go away.

Two-Headed Boy
October 14th 2006


^Don't steal my lines. :angry:

October 22nd 2006


Everyone who don't like BRMC, go f...k.It's the greatest new band...!!!Who f...ks Mars Volta!!!MV is nothing compered to BRMC

February 27th 2007


Funny, CanonInD. Ahm, well they ain't a new band. Their first album was great. Saw em last night in the Village. Kinda lost the crowd a little choosing to throw out a few obscure ones. Back in the day they were amazing though. Not getting their newly adopted style all in all.

May 1st 2008


Album Rating: 4.5

Personally, I love this cd. I like this a lot more than all of their other stuff. Baby 81 and Take Them On just don't do it for me. I think their lyrics fit perfectly with the music. Everything is very well done on this album. I guess I like seeing the softer side of folks.

May 6th 2008


Album Rating: 4.0

Wow do any of you even like brmc? idk this album has become a favorite. I thought

baby 81 was good when i bought it but then i got Howl and realized that thats not

them at the best. I don't have the debut but till then it's HowlThis Message Edited On 05.06.08

September 26th 2008


Album Rating: 4.5

Very, Very poor review. This is BRMC's best album.

October 6th 2008


Album Rating: 4.0

Very very harsh on your review. This album rocks. The Dylan parts, the dirty rock swagger. This is a must have album.

October 6th 2008


Album Rating: 3.5

yea, this album's definitely good, but only their first (B.R.M.C.) should be called a must-have.

October 6th 2008


Album Rating: 4.0

i disagree, and agree. Theyre both great albums, but this is a more matured, grown sound when compared to their debut. Why not must-have them both?

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