Wrong Creatures

Black Rebel Motorcycle Club

Abstract Dragon, 2018


REVIEW BY: Benjamin Ray


I think this club is starting to run on fumes.

Really, I’m not sure what happened, but it would appear the BRMC has run out of interesting things to say. Wrong Creatures isn’t a bad album by any means, but it’s hardly a necessary one, a less-than-compelling effort from a band that has frequently done better.my_heart_sings_the_harmony_web_ad_alt_250

Eight years on from the solid Beat The Devil’s Tattoo, the band seems content now to mix atmospheric drones with offhand, fuzzed-out glam rockers, but little of this makes a true statement that lasts. To be sure, themes of spiritual mourning and overall gloom color the songwriting and barely-sung vocals, reflecting the real-life issues affecting the band during this album’s recording.

There are flashes of inspiration, suggesting BRMC is still the cool dive-bar garage-rockers they’ve always been, as on “King Of Bones” and “Little Thing Gone Wild.” But even “King Of Bones” is less a full-throated rock song and more a spaced-out drone, albeit one with a pulse. Many of the songs don’t even get that far, settling for drones where nothing happens and then it’s gone, like “Spook,” “Calling Them All Away,” “Haunt,” and “Ninth Configuration.” And the dull “DFF” is just some noise that starts the album with a thud.

“Circus Bazooko” is the weirdest song here, not any better than the rest but showing signs of life and a spark of light on an otherwise gray album. Its polar opposite is “Echo,” which with repeated plays may well be the best song here in its darkly romantic Cure-inspired playing and singing.

More moments like that and “Little Thing,” plus the semi-epic closer “All Rise,” suggest the band could really hunker down and create something lasting and meaningful. Perhaps Wrong Creatures excises some demons or acts as catharsis for its creators; medical near-misses and family member deaths take their toll on everyone differently. But the end result is an album that not only says things BRMC has said better before but doesn’t say anything new worth hearing repeatedly.

Rating: C-

User Rating: Not Yet Rated


© 2018 Benjamin Ray and The Daily Vault. All rights reserved. Review or any portion may not be reproduced without written permission. Cover art is the intellectual property of Abstract Dragon, and is used for informational purposes only.