Review: Black Rebel Motorcycle Club ‘Wrong Creatures’




By DAN MACINTOSH

There many times while listening to Black Rebel Motorcycle Club’s Wrong Creatures where the band sounds like the Goth band Bauhaus, had it listened exclusively to American garage rock and psychedelic music. This is because the album’s sound is oftentimes The Jesus And Mary Chain (sonically), but also just as much as it is dark Gothic dirges (lyrically).

One song off Wrong Creatures, called “Haunt,” for example, creates an eerie mood with its dramatic dynamics, including falsetto vocals during quieter moments. BRMC also steers well clear of the general three-minute pop song guideline, with many of these twelve songs lasting more than five minutes. The aptly named “Circus Bazooko” is supported by appropriate circus-y keyboard notes. Producer Nick Lannay has also worked with Nick Cave, and a little bit of Cave’s influence can be heard coming through the graveyard organ that colors “Carried from The Start.”

Black Rebel Motorcycle Club - Photo by Eddy Berthier
BRMC – Photo by Eddy Berthier

Black Rebel Motorcycle Club ‘Wrong Creatures’

It’s tough to find obvious meanings to these various songs. The aforementioned “Haunt” has been described as a murder ballad, although you may not guess this without knowing it beforehand. “Questions of Faith,” with its thumping bass and guitar parts, may concern spirituality. But then again, it may not. “Echo” is the happiest – and “happiest” is a relative term here – song, and sounds to be a love song of some sort. One of the album’s singles, “Little Thing Gone Wild,” is also where the album gets its title. It’s a real loud raver, with big drums, stinging guitar and just a touch of harmonica.

The album closes with “All Rise,” a song built upon a mournful piano part. It ends the recording on a relatively quiet, sad note. Wrong Creatures is the sound of wronged creatures in a world gone wrong.

Black Rebel Motorcycle Club is on tour with stops at Oakland’s Fox Theater on Feb. 22, Pomona at The Glass House on Feb. 23 and The Fonda Theatre on Feb. 24.

Dan MacIntosh is a reviewer for CaliforniaRocker.com. Read his other work here.