Band’s sound fine-tuned with “Wrong Creatures”

by Staff Writer Cody Campbell

Very few bands have ever been as appropriately named as Black Rebel Motorcycle Club.

Over the course of the band’s 20-year history, they have cemented their spot among the dark leather-clad rebel rockers of the post-2000s.

With the release of their eighth full-length album “Wrong Creatures,” BRMC stayed true to their defiant fan base and original sound while adding minor tweaks that modernize their signature psychedelic desert rock aural.

Despite the band’s long history, their sound is still relevant. The dark and drifting chord progressions paired with steady rhythmic drum beats that seem to loop endlessly are complemented by vague lyrics and ghostly vocal melodies with just enough ambiance to gain any millennial rocker’s approval.

However, without straying too far from their source sound, “Wrong Creatures” offers listeners an array of subtleties that add new layers to the surface of their well-established phonic foundation.

The album opens with “Spook,” a track delivering the power and drive long-term fans of BRMC will feel right at home listening to.

However, for not taking chances to give fans something new, this makes it the weakest song on the album.

It was not until the fourth track, “Haunt,” I began to notice the alterations the band has made to their sound. “Haunt” is a slow-moving ballad one step away from BRMC’s power-heavy, beat-driven songs that, while I have come to love and expect it from the band, is a step in the right direction.

In the undertones and nuances of “Haunt” and the middle tracks of the album, listeners will find the work of the band’s new producer, Nick Launay, who is known for his work with bands like Arcade Fire and Talking Heads.

It is evident the production team played a crucial role in this album’s evolution of the BRMC’s sound, as Launay has effectively attuned the music to the ears of a new generation of listeners without losing any of their authenticity.

Later in the album, the band takes the refinement of their sound to a new level with the tenth track, “Circus Bazooka.” I am not a fan of the Beatles-like organ melody that is the signature of the song. BRMC oversteps their boundaries just enough for “Circus Bazooka” to feel forced and a little out of place with the rest of the album.

However, “Wrong Creatures” finds itself again with the twelfth and final track, “All Rise.” The song captures all the best qualities of the traditional BRMC sound and the experimental attunement the album offered fans, making it the take-home hit of the album.

Overall, I give “Wrong Creatures” four stars out of five for its excellent balance of BRMC’s traditional cinema-worthy noise and the refreshingly modern atmosphere conjured through Launay and the production team.