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Monday, March 8, 2010

BRMC's Trick Works Much Better This Round

Posted By on Mon, Mar 8, 2010 at 8:18 AM

TESSA ANGUS
  • Tessa Angus
Looking back through the corrective lenses of retrospect and time, it wasn't very fair the way we went about this business of king making. In defense, it was pretty bleak at the onset of the last decade. Nu-metal lunkheads lurked around every corner and the skeletons of boy bands littered the landscape. Meanwhile, across the pond, Travis was just giving birth to Coldplay. It was a scary time. We were all quite desperate. So, when Black Rebel Motorcycle Club came along with its loud riffs, thundering drums, and disaffected disposition, it was all a-fucking-board that train.

Ten years later, and, as BRMC goes, it's obvious that a) we were initially dazzled to the point of blindness, and b) The poor bastards never had a chance. It's amazing the band didn't buckle from the sheer weight of our expectations, especially in light of the fact that the band members were out of fresh ideas by the second album. Unfortunately nobody noticed till the fourth one, and by the time Baby 81 rolled around, not only was the thrill gone, but the trio's sonic palate (psych blues, drug-lite noise pop, Zep IV) and themes (revolution, deliverance, evil/redemption) had an entirely paint-by-numbers sheen. 2008's instrumental disaster The Effects of 333 served notice that BRMC was officially in over its head.

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John O'Neill

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