in Review

The Devil Can’t Write No Love Song

Black Rebel Motorcycle Club – Beat the Devil’s Tattoo

My interest in Black Rebel Motorcycle has been waning since about 2007 and here I’m reminded why. Howl was the album that originally caught my ear with it’s catchy single “Ain’t No Easy Way.” After that was the so-so followup Baby 81 and then the only album to ever receive a half star rating on this blog The Effects of 333, if you can categorize that as music.

BRMC made a name for themselves in the early 2000s rocking out with a unique take on the alternative country genre. Songs about “deals with the devil” or “guys going to shoot other guys” were popular subjects but what’s really changed since then? It’s my opinion that bands should evolve overtime. Growing with each album and exploring new territories and ideas. Beat the Devil’s Tattoo isn’t a bad album but it’s nothing we haven’t heard before. The same kind of subject matter, familiar arrangements, mood… I understand they have their trademark sound but don’t they ever get tired of being all moody and depressed?

Looking past the fact that this is nothing new I’m still reminded of why I originally became a fan of these boys from the Bay City. Peter Hayes (Vocals/Guitar) and Robert Levon Been (Vocals/Bass/Guitar) provide some excellent bluesy riffs, though I still can’t tell them apart vocally or musically they’re like the exact same person. Drummer Leah Shapiro replaces Nick Jago after his second departure and does an adequate job providing Bonham like beats. The tunes are predictable but I think we all need a little dose of mindless rock from time to time.

So nothing special, which means I may have to move on from these guys. I can only take so many more lengthy albums of same old, same old. Sounds weird to say the album is alright but I’m now done with this band but that’s the truth and I’m sticking to it.

Favorite Tracks: “Bad Blood”, “Beat the Devil’s Tattoo”, “Conscience Killer”

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