San Francisco's Black Rebel Motorcycle Club still don't get the credit they deserve in the United States after getting fame from being part of the garage rock revival of the early 2000's. They're huge across the pond in Europe but despite the fact that they possess a sound that fuses blues, folk, punk and psychedelic styles together to form something simply spectacular, they're not topping the charts in the States like in other parts of the world. Anyways, this trio that promises to send chills down your spine has their seventh album out titled Specter At The Feast, showing more of a post-punk shift with their songs but still having those riffs that will rock your brain.
The story behind Specter At The Feast is a very emotional one. Michael Been who was the band's producer of their previous album Beat The Devil's Tattoo, bassist and vocalist of The Call and father of bassist Robert Levon Been passed away after he suffered a heart attack during the band's performance at Pukkelpop in Hasselt, Belgium on August 19, 2010. Due to the tragic loss, Black Rebel Motorcycle Club made Specter At The Feast as a way for the band to mourn Michael's death and rid the pain through musical means. You can also log on to Youtube and check out the series of videos they made while making the album. It has been said that grief and heartbreak bring out the best in artists, the same could definitely be said for BRMC's new album.
By now, especially if you've read this example of excellence in music journalism before, you're thinking to yourself "Big woop Rob, you're going to shed your opinion on what your favorite songs are off of the album you're reviewing again." In reaction to that I'll reply by saying "Thank you Captain Obvious!!!", because that's exactly what I'm going to do. I like every song of of Specter At The Feast so it's never easy, but you already know that. Enough of me telling you what you want to hear, here goes something:
"Rival" is distorted, emphatic and the drums have the ability to crush mountains into mere dust, such a great track all about looking for someone to go toe to toe against. "Teenage Disease" is the closest thing to a legitimate punk song you'll hear off the album, filled with angst and rebellious tendencies that will make you want to start a revolution. "Let The Day Begin" is a cover of a hit song by The Call that came out in 1989, a way of Robert paying homage to his late father in the best way possible. "Sell It" is a 6 minute opus that is chock full of fantastic guitar riffs that will leave you in awe. As I always say, don't just take my word as gospel without giving Specter At The Feast a listen.
Black Rebel Motorcycle Club will be kicking off their tour of the United States and Canada at The Fillmore in San Fransisco in April 22nd. For us New England music fanatics, BRMC will be performing at The House Of Blues in Boston on May 3rd and they'll be at Terminal 5 in New York City the following night. Until Black Rebel Motorcycle Club comes to your friendly neighborhood, get yourself a copy of Specter At The Feast. It's innovative rock music that promises to blow you away.
- Rob Duguay