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Black Rebel Motorcycle Club - Baby 81

Released on Red Ink, 5/1/07

Black Rebel Motorcycle Club has been compared to Jesus and Mary Chain, Love and Rockets, The White Stripes, and a myriad of artists in between. By and large, BRMCís previous albums have received favorable reviews despite the somewhat open question of whether or not there is anything unique or distinctive about BRMCís sound. BRMCís latest album, Baby 81 may not necessarily answer this question, but thereís no question that itís a fairly consistent effort and doesnít fail to entertain.

The first single off Baby 81, "Weapon of Choice" is pretty much straight ahead rock with aggressive guitar riffs and fuzzy vocals. Itís a catchy, but unexceptional track that captures the early 90s rock sound that BRMC has been known for. There is also an unquestionable Britpop sound to "Weapon of Choice" that is reminiscent of Oasis.

But, BRMC is not a one trick pony. The next track, "Window" is a more downbeat, piano heavy track. The grim and ominous tone of this track contrasts sharply with "Weapon of Choice". Lyrically, "Window" is consistent with the dark sound of the track. "Turn your eyes from the window, so you wonít see this world. The walls are closing inward. Thereís no where left to turn." This dark and claustrophobic track is not inconsistent with much of BRMCís work in the past and on Baby 81.

A less claustrophobic, but more mournful track "All You Do Is Talk" is a bit more spartan in nature and almost sounds like a quiet wail of anguish. "All You Do Is Talk" explores the marked pain of words spoken with no loving actions to match them. This anguish is expressed simply and eloquently, "Sadly, I remain in need. Help yourself donít say a thing at all".

So, BRMC covers claustrophobia and unrequited love quite well. Donít expect any tracks from Baby 81 that are light or upbeat. The hurt continues. "Lien on Your Dreams" Just a quick sampling of the funereal lyrics, "Thereís a sound coming down that burns you to the ground. They lie through their eyes. Youíre all I came here for. You are my lonely sore." The world BRMC is most firmly acquainted with is filled with lies, deceit, and disappointment. But, they make it sound pretty good.

At the end, Baby 81 is rife with the dark, gritty, melancholy rock that is consistent with what BRMC has delivered in most of their previous efforts. Despite the sometimes derivative sound, BRMC has crafted a solid and entertaining album. If you have an affinity for Oasis, The White Stripes, and/or The Strokes, Baby 81 shouldnít disappoint you.

Rating: 3.75 out of 5 stars