Black Rebel Motorcycle Club, 'Beat the Devil's Tattoo' (Abstract Dragon/Vagrant)

7
Beat the Devil's Tattoo
Critical Mass
Label: Abstract Dragon/Vagrant

by David Marchese

Six albums in, BRMC still seemingly pick their songwriting styles by throwing darts at a rock'n'roll genre chart. Tattoo offers deeply committed re-creations of bleary balladry ("Long Way Down"), stoned Americana ("The Toll"), distorto-pop ("Bad Blood"), and spacey trips into wah-wah oblivion (the ten-minute "Half-State"). Sometimes, as on the Velvets-y vacuum of "Evol," the trio merely imitate instead of inhabit. But those moments are redeemed by many others that prove original thoughts aren't always necessary for a gritty good time.

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