Black Rebel Motorcycle Club
"Beat The Devil's Tattoo"

(Abstract Dragon/Vagrant Records 2010)Black Rebel Motorcycle Club - Beat The Devil\'s Tattoo

Things are different this time around for Black Rebel Motorcycle Club. The band has not only found continued success with each album but also a new drummer in Leah Shapiro, who had previously been the touring drummer for The Raveonettes. On "Beat The Devil's Tattoo," the band's sixth full-length release, the changes are both good and bad.

The band offers a powerful and intense kick-off to the album with the slowly mesmerizing and pounding title track while thick and heavy guitar riffs snarl on "War Machine." It's with tracks like those that you can no doubt see BRMC have a direction they're going and that there's more substance than merely speedy guitar riffs.

But then again, maybe not. Perhaps after all this time BRMC are getting bored with their heavy sound or merely trying to branch out or they're simply trying too hard. Regardless of the reason, tracks like "Bad Blood" and "Evol" are somewhat acquired tastes, with super sweet melodies that take on the band's buzzing rock and let light hints of dreamy psychedelic melodies take over. But while other ballad-like tracks from the band, like "Aya," offer a bite for their bark, these offer more of a quiet yelp.

Sometimes you have to rethink and wonder if the band has a plan at all. The change in direction can at times be jarring: the blow-out "War Machine" is immediately followed by the bluesy stripped down ballad "Sweet Feeling" (which is far more in character than "Bad Blood" or "Evol"). "Beat The Devil's Tattoo" is uneven as the band drags the listener along. But its strengths are such that you'll forget the weakness and follow BRMC along for the ride.

B

buy it!