In House #1871: Black Rebel Motorcycle Club Plays Salt Lake City
A couple of years back, L.A.'s Black Rebel Motorcycle Club surprised everyone with the soulful and largely acoustic musical about-face that was Howl. Immersing their music in country, blues, and even gospel flavors, BRMC essentially recreated their sound, transforming themselves from a frantically-paced, multi guitar layered, Jesus & Mary Chain-compared rock & roll act to an old world, gospel-tinged trio with a bit more on their minds. Plenty of harmonica, slide guitar, and good old fashioned soul-searching propelled Howl to one of the best-sounding releases of the year. Two years later, and the band is back to their rock & roll ways, albeit tempered with a few of the new-found elements employed with such success for Howl. Baby 81 finds the guitars plugged back in but doesn't necessarily rock with wild abandon. Instead, bluesy moments like album opener "Took Out a Loan," come across like a louder, less classic blues driven version of The Black Keys, while other moments suggest the influence of past acts like The Stooges and The Rolling Stones. Despite all of the volume, which is generally (much) higher this go around, there are moments of comparatively delicate texture to be found within: Robert Turner's piano turn that drives the rather epic "Window," for example. For the most part though, it's a loud and loose return to form, which is fine, except that Howl suggests that their real strengths lie elsewhere. BRMC plays In the Venue in Salt Lake City tonight.
In House #1871.
Focus: New release, Baby 81, from the Black Rebel Motorcycle Club, also playing Salt Lake City tonight. Plus, new music from Spoon, Electrelane, The Ponys, The Arcade Fire, and more.
In House PODCAST #310
Coming soon: Our Filter Tourzine report from tonight's BRMC show