Black Rebel Motorcycle Club

Wrong Creatures

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Track Listing

    Track Title

    Time

  1. DFF 1:54
  2. Spook 3:45
  3. King of Bones 3:56
  4. Haunt 5:50
  5. Echo 5:13
  6. Ninth Configuration 6:52
  7. Question of Faith 5:19
  8. Calling Them All Away 6:45
  9. Little Thing Gone Wild 3:20
  10. Circus Bazooko 5:42
  11. Carried From the Start 4:49
  12. All Rise 5:40

Review

While it would be incorrect to say that all of Black Rebel Motorcycle Club's albums are borne out of tragedy and trial, it often feels that way. In 2010, lead singer/bassist Robert Levon Been lost his father, the Call singer (and BRMC sound engineer) Michael Been, to a heart attack, mere months after the release of Beat the Devil's Tattoo. Subsequently, a sense of loss and mourning colored all of the band's moody 2013 follow-up Specter at the Feast. In 2014, drummer Leah Shapiro underwent brain surgery to treat a neurological disease. Though she had recovered by the time the band began work on their eighth studio album, 2018's eerie and menacing Wrong Creatures, a sense of spiritual peril pervades much of the album. As Been sings on "A Question of Faith," "I'm a question of faith/I'm a faded mind/I'm what calls you away/I'm what leaves you in Time." It's just this sort of doomed reflection that permeates much of Wrong Creatures. However, rather than simply being a dark and cynical glimpse into a metaphysical void, the album actually feels lighter than recent releases. It's even somewhat of a return to the group's fiery, punk-influenced early work with songs like the sneering "Spook" and the brain-pounding "King of Bones" built with swaggering simplicity around chugging electric guitar riffs and metallic drum beats. Cuts like the woozy, psychedelic "Calling Them All Away" and the laconically bluesy "Haunt" are as spine tingling as anything on Specter, but feel looser, more improvised, as if the band jammed them into being. There's also a sense of post-punk grandeur here with tracks like "Ninth Configuration" and the sparkling "Echo" bringing to mind a mix of late-'80s U2 and early-'90s Swervedriver. Still, the band's emotions remain as vaporous and ectoplasmic as ever. On "Haunt," Been sings "Dead flag, ship of fools you command/I'm trying not to wither away/And I'm wondering if I'll feel the grace/I'm Trying to unlove this world/But it has no other place." On Wrong Creatures, it's refreshing to hear a band so wrought with spiritual and emotional demons find their rock roll grace and let it rip. ~ Matt Collar, Rovi

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