"Take Them On, On Your Own" (Virgin; 2003)

Reviewed by Jeff Rogers

After a solid listen through to this disc you might be thinking The Strokes, The Verve, Led Zeppelin and Bob Dylan for possible comparisons. The music has a darker tone and harder rock edge than the band's first CD, entitled “B.R.M.C.,” released in 2001. The music here is very different than I’m used to but it’s still good. The guitar has a garage sound and the raw tint gives it a distinct sound. The vocals are smooth and don’t cause you any pain. 

The lyrics are very political on a couple of tunes: “Generation” and “U.S. Government” are quite critical of “W” and the United States government. But, since I’m older, I’m influenced more by the music than the message. B.R.M.C. also pen some religious lyrics, mixing politics and religion. Are these guys bold or what?  

They do have a blues feel on some songs and every now and then a folk tone will emerge as well; it all mixes well and nothing really trips over itself. The last track, “Heart And Soul,” clocks in at 7:15 and sounds more like Oasis than anyone else. The album cover is homage to the film “The Third Man.” Their name comes from the motorcycle gang in the Marlon Brando movie titled “The Wild One.”  

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"B.R.M.C." (Virgin; 2001)

Reviewed by R. Scott Bolton

Black Rebel Motorcycle Club, or B.R.M.C. for short, play rock'n'roll that will sound perfect in bars and clubs across the country. It's a smoky, boozy, atmospheric kind of music that draws you not only into the sound but into the band's world, via the band's eyes.

B.R.M.C. is strong, solid rock'n'roll, like Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers but with much more edge. Guitars soar with driving rhythms then scream like eagles. The vocals are simple but effective and the songwriting straight-forward and insightful. Strangely enough, another comparison that comes to mind is the more exotic songs of The Beatles.

Things get a little off track now and then (as during the last few seconds of "Whatever Happened to My Rock'n'Roll," which dissolves into chaos for no apparent reason) and there's a song or two that doesn't stand up to the others but, overall, B.R.M.C. is a very unique and compelling collection, notable mostly for its ability to paint vivid pictures in the listener's mind with sound as well as the written word. 

Black Rebel Motorcycle Club is: Peter Hayes - guitar, bass, keys, harmonica, vocals; Robert Turner - bass, guitar, keys, vocals; Nick Jago - drums, percussion.

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Rating Guide:

A classic. This record will kick your ass.

Killer. Not a classic but it will rock your world.

So-so. You've heard better.

Pretty bad. Might make a nice coaster.

Self explanatory. Just the sight of the cover makes you wanna hurl.

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Copyright © 2009 by R. Scott Bolton. All rights reserved.
Revised: 11 Jun 2018 20:14:11 -0400.