Black Rebel Motorcycle Club
Wrong Creatures


3.4
great

Review

by insomniac15 STAFF
January 15th, 2018 | 17 replies


Release Date: 2018 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Comfortable in their own bubble...

Black Rebel Motorcycle Club have kept a low profile in the past years, so listening to their latest LP, Wrong Creatures feels a bit nostalgic for me. I was a huge fan of theirs mainly during the Beat the Devil’s Tattoo (2010) and Specter at the Feast (2013) eras and very fond of Peter Hayes’ playing style. However, I found a multitude of new bands in this 5-year wait, so I returned less and less to their output. For better or for worse, the gang haven’t changed, keeping the Americana flavored, shoegaze-leaning alternative rock intact.

Wrong Creatures takes cues from its predecessor, being just as moody overall and less loud than earlier works. I always appreciated how the band maintained its own trajectory, oblivious to any trends passing them by. You can rely on them to produce a solid affair at the very least, still this can also be a turn off for those who seek unexpected detours. Some of the best moments here come from subdued tracks like ‘Haunt’ or ‘Echo’, mixing a dark atmosphere with mournful tones. The former boasts a dense, Wild West vibe, topped by soft croons and melodic choruses. The sparse arrangements work really well, plus they emphasize in a positive way the dead serious attitude BRMC portray. On the other hand, ‘Echo’ shares a more classic sound with Hayes’ trademark eerie guitars hovering in the background. The restrained, nostalgic but dreamy instrumental is simply beautiful (an adjective rarely associated with them), revealing a softer, vulnerable side. There is also the somber closer, ‘All Rise’ that gradually rises from a broken piano ballad to a soaring post rock-esque climax where cymbals heavily crash over effects-soaked guitars. It feels as if you had an epiphany and this blinding light appeared shortly in front of you, only to suddenly fade away, leaving you in the dark again. There’s a heavy, thunderous cloud weighing down on the entire record, so these tunes talking about ghosts, mortality, burials and several nihilistic elements can’t really be overlooked while hearing them. BRMC would definitely be one of Edgar Allan Poe and H.P. Lovecraft’s favorite bands.

Luckily, rock ‘n’ roll saves us from being entirely absorbed by pessimism. ‘Spook’, ‘King of Bones’ & ‘Little Thing Gone Wild’ bring the party back to life with jangly chords and groovy beats. As usual, Robert and Peter’s chemistry shares the spotlight, each bringing his own vision into the mix. Fortunately, at this stage, the group can pen a cool rocker in their sleep. As expected, there’s nothing groundbreaking, just some fun ditties to shake things a little. In between them, there are some dynamic, mid-tempo epics which go from dirty riffs to quiet segments in a very smooth manner. ‘Ninth Configuration’ slowly unfolds through nice guitar touches, before bursting with distorted open chords for the chorus. Finally, it turns into a rager, offering interesting, hypnotic repetitions and a noisy coda. Meanwhile, the cocky ‘Question of Faith’ features a catchy bass line alongside infectious hooks. The straightforward, familiar structure makes it one of the most accessible cuts on Wrong Creatures. ‘Carried from the Start’ follows a Brian Jonestown Massacre formula mashed with a steady BRMC rhythm. The result is satisfying enough even though it won’t change any opinions on the LP.

Unfortunately, this bubble the band locked itself in keeps them from exploring new grounds. The accumulated experience speaks for itself as none of the songs are disappointing (except for maybe ‘Circus Bazooko’ – I still can’t say whether I dislike it or not). However, they all feel cut from the same cloth. I wish they weren’t so stiff, so they experimented more. Diversity is needed to keep things intense (or at least interesting) all the way through. Wrong Creatures is an often somber listen, better done at night. It isn’t Black Rebel Motorcycle Club at their peak, although it shows the three seasoned musicians doing a good job in their own field.



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Comments:Add a Comment 
insomniac15
Staff Reviewer
January 15th 2018


4473 Comments

Album Rating: 3.4

Cool album, albeit too long for its own good.



Stream it here - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-lApX8wrLRY

'Little Thing Gone Wild' video - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nBjg8zSqvQc

Digging: Gozu - Equilibrium

Ashtiel
January 15th 2018


41 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

first album i've heard from these guys and i suppose it was a mistake that i made "little thing gone wild" the first thing i heard because i thought that there was going to be more like that on the album, and while there was in the form of tracks like "spook" and "king of bones" i guess i came out a little disappointed.

gonna stick with this thing for a few more listens as i initially found that it was a bit too meandering for me. it's growing but i think that one, or two of the 5+ minute tracks could have been shaved down or omitted entirely.

Digging: TesseracT - Sonder

insomniac15
Staff Reviewer
January 15th 2018


4473 Comments

Album Rating: 3.4

They toned down lately. You can listen to earlier stuff for heavier songs. Specter at the Feast is less noisy, much like this one, but it has some awesome moments too.

butcherboy
Contributing Reviewer
January 15th 2018


7599 Comments


Howl was the best thing this band did so it's good to see them settle into a more sedate mood.. will check, class review!

Digging: Abwarts - Amok Koma

insomniac15
Staff Reviewer
January 15th 2018


4473 Comments

Album Rating: 3.4

Thanks! Unfortunately, they didn't include some acoustic stuff here. Still, there are some moody moments that Specter at the Feast and the first album have.

bloc
January 15th 2018


49300 Comments


Debut was the best

Digging: Inferi - Revenant

Dewinged
January 15th 2018


9251 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Brilliant review man, I absoluttely love Echo and I hate Circus Bazooko.



And nice dig, bloc.

Digging: Sleep - The Sciences

bloc
January 15th 2018


49300 Comments


Thanks man, I dare say it's underrated?

Dewinged
January 15th 2018


9251 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Greatly, best W.A.S.P. for me.

RadicalEd
January 16th 2018


8929 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

Since their debut was one of my "formative" albums, I'll give this a spin but I don't have very high hopes. They've been kinda spinnin their wheels in the mud for a while now.



Gud review as always.

Digging: Mark Renner - Few Traces

RadicalEd
January 16th 2018


8929 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

It's not bad. But it's feels really superflous. All the energy is gone at this point.

Dewinged
January 16th 2018


9251 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

I actually enjoy more the chilled tracks like Haunt or Echo, with that Lynch(ish) feel. Reminds me of Crippled Black Phoenix sometimes.

BlackMalachite
January 16th 2018


2856 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

Gotta say, this was one of the most boring albums that I've heard so far this year.

Digging: Escape the Fate - I Am Human

Dewinged
January 16th 2018


9251 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

There's been worst already, this is not so bad.

WillieD
April 7th 2018


163 Comments


What a snoozefest, and the production and mastering are straight butthole.

Dewinged
April 10th 2018


9251 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Don't see anything wrong with the production tbh.

PistolPete
April 11th 2018


4688 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Just like their first album, I can get into some songs, but the listen as a whole slogs and makes me sleepy and bored. They have such a good sound, if only they could make more compact albums.



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