Black Rebel Motorcycle Club – Wrong Creatures

There are a lot of fine songs on display here, but they sadly don't amount to a whole hill of beans more than their influences

Album Review by Pete Wild | 09 Jan 2018
  • Black Rebel Motorcycle Club – Wrong Creatures
Album title: Wrong Creatures
Artist: Black Rebel Motorcycle Club
Label: Abstract Dragon
Release date: 12 Jan

Cast your mind back to the first time you ever heard Whatever Happened to My Rock ’n’ Roll? from Black Rebel Motorcycle Club’s debut. There was a song that grabbed you by the shoulders, announced a new kid on the block, spat, swore, and kicked all the pricks. Yeah, they sounded like the Mary Chain but that was ok. If you’re going to sound like another band on your debut, there are definitely worse bands to pick.

Fast forward 17 years and seven albums and it’s safe to say that BRMC didn’t quite live up to their early promise. Like so many bands, they wear their influences on their sleeve – but don’t amount to a whole hill of beans more than those influences. Listen to Wrong Creatures and you can hear all of the bands that BRMC like – Velvets, Verve, the aforementioned Mary Chain – as well as a few others they can’t help but remind you of as they careen from one long rock drone to another (Pale Saints, Grant Lee Buffalo).

As you’d expect from a band that's carved out a following and can sell out shows the world over, there are a lot of fine songs on display – Echo and Ninth Configuration, for instance, both have some great guitar noise on them. Calling Them All Away has a sort of churchified thrum that you could imagine stretching out over 20 minutes in some blissed-out opium den back in the day, and Little Thing Gone Wild is probably even sturdy enough to get them some radio play.

Their problem is there are other bands doing this kind of thing better (Black Angels, we’re looking at you). At this stage, their best bet would be to refashion themselves as a 21st century Depeche Mode. Given their song titles, they’re already halfway there…

Listen to: Echo, Ninth Configuration, Little Thing Gone Wild