The brand new album from Black Rebel Motorcycle Club is called “Specter at the Feast” and the band has a scored a ten out of ten review from me based solely on the power of the albums opening track “Fire Walker” – the song is just so amazing and when it kicked in I was floored. It doesn’t surprise me though how strong of an album “Specter at the Feast” is. For the past 15 years BRMC have been one of the best and most consistent rock n roll bands ever. I always thought that they were way more creative and dynamic than the bands who were their peers. So basically what I’m saying is they have made better records than Brian Jonestown Massacre, The Dandy Warhol’s and The White Stripes. While these bands may have had some kind of star power the key reason why BRMC is and always will be better is because of the mystery and the darkness that funds their music. Add into this the fact that they actually created their own piece of the rock n roll language (instead of blatantly just paying tribute). All of this is just chest beating egoisms on my behalf, plus I love pointing out to Brian Jonestown Massacre fans just how unimaginative their leader and saviour Anton is, in short he should have kept Peter Hayes in his band. He may have written some better music as a result.
So what makes this album so great?
For me it comes back to what has always made BRMC albums great, the darkness and mystery of it all. It is an album that is funded on loss and it has a Funeral March dirge to it but it doesn’t bum you out at all. It allows you to be reflective and it still gives you the platform to grieve. The whole album feels like it is channelling the cycle of grief with the reflective and more spacious moments balanced out with some angsty rock n roll. The album never descends into cliché’s however and it is still dripping with a sexy mysterious ache. I’ve always found the music of BRMC to be incredibly hypnotic with the rhythm section displaying an anti-swagger groove. BRMC flirt with that wonderful shoegaze philosophy that My Bloody Valentine use to surround you. It draws you in slowly until finally you are trapped inside its sway.
“Specter at the Feast” is a joyous rock n roll journey and continues to strengthen the amazing body of work from BRMC. BRMC are still making rock n roll music for the future while still reminding us what was so great about previous generations of rock. If you proclaim to be a disciple of rock n roll in 2013 and you don’t own any albums by BRMC, time to do the right thing and purchase “Specter At The Feast” – you won’t be disappointed.
10 Cassette Tapes Out of 10
By: Dan Newton
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