Music News

Black Rebel Motorcycle Club: Beat the Devil's Tattoos, in "Nothing Not New"

Artist: Black Rebel Motorcycle Club

Title: Beat the Devil's Tattoos
Release date: March 9
Label: Abstract Dragon/Vagrant

There's something kind of quaint about this new Black Rebel Motorcycle Club record. It isn't bad, by any stretch, but it doesn't sound nearly as dangerous as the band name and album title would have you believe. For real damaged and druggy garage-psych, I'd refer you the new record by Brian Jonestown Massacre.

Authenticity is a debate for another day (for better or worse, fans in sub-genres like metal, punk, garage, and hip-hop are all about authenticity, man), but B.R.M.C. strikes me as the kind of band that gives fans the safest possible vicarious drug thrills. This band is no Spacemen 3 -- or even Jesus and Mary Chain -- but this is a pretty solid listen.

All authenticity issues aside, I'm not one to be found with a needle hanging out of my arm, so I'll take B.R.M.C. for what their worth. There are equal amounts good '60s garage-punk riffs and Spiritualized-esque guitar-FX workouts on this record. It all kind of falls apart when B.R.M.C. tries to get all Beatles or foist a ballad on us. Stick to your strengths, guys.  

B.M.R.C has just enough woozy guitar bends, stompin' drum beats, and alternately snarly and zoned-out vocals (especially when the singer drones, "It sure feels like love again / I don't wanna feel love again," on the unfortunately titled "EVOL") to keep my attention for an hour. Well, maybe not an hour. Definitely 40 minutes, though.

Best song: "Conscience Killer" (fast category) and "Bad Blood" (slow category) 
Rotation: Medium-heavy
Deja Vu: Oasis meets Jesus and Mary Chain meet White Stripes
I'd rather listen to: Psychocandy
Grade: B

Nothing Not New" is a yearlong project in which New Times editorial operations manager Jay Bennett, a 40-year-old music fan and musician, will listen only to music released in 2010. Each Monday through Friday, he will listen to one new record (no best ofs, reissues, or concert recordings) and write about it. Why? Because in the words of his editor, Martin Cizmar, he suffers from "aesthetic atrophy," a wasting away of one's ability to embrace new and different music as one ages. Read more about this all-too-common ailment here.

The "Nothing Not New" Archives

KEEP PHOENIX NEW TIMES FREE... Since we started Phoenix New Times, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Phoenix, and we'd like to keep it that way. With local media under siege, it's more important than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" program, allowing us to keep offering readers access to our incisive coverage of local news, food and culture with no paywalls.
Jay Bennett
Contact: Jay Bennett