Black Rebel Motorcycle Club - Black Rebel Motorcycle Club
With the much-hyped new wave of garage rock making instant icons of a bunch of bands like the Strokes and the White Stripes, it was inevitable that less trendy, if arguably as derivative retro-stylists such as the Black Rebel Motorcycle Club (BRMC) would also be drawn into the marketing frenzy.
A lot has been made of the BRMC's pilfering of the Jesus and Mary Chain's scuzzy guitar groove blueprint, if not their black leather clad outsider persona too. Sure, there's a preponderance of songs echoing the feedback-fuelled flourishes that made the Mary Chain the darlings of the mid-to-late 80s UK "alternative" scene. Yet it's useful to remember that BMRC are after all an LA band.
This is a band who freak in, rather than out, dabbling in noisy psychedelic excursions ("Ha Ha High Babe"), Stooges skewered garage speeds ("Six Barrel Shotgun", "U.S.Government") and fu**ked up junkie bass ambles ("Shade of Blue"). The result is an "On the Road" style soundtrack populated by a cast of self-styled beatnik bad boys wandering through the imploding American Dream with a Che Guevara swagger without ever actually bothering to embrace any real revolutionary zeal.
While many of their lyrics might suggest they're singing the anti-establishment blues, any manifestations of rock 'n roll as a rebellious form of protest song are undercut by their haphazard turn of phrase: "Mothers teach you to crawl. Fathers teach you to rise or fall/ There's no dream for us all, never see what you're reaching for" ("Rise or Fall"). But hey, with music that sounds this cool, why bother reading the lyrics?