Follow Us on Twitter

Black Rebel Motorcycle Club - Howl

Black Rebel Motorcycle Club, Howl

Review by Jack Foley

IndieLondon Rating: 4 out of 5

BLACK Rebel Motorcycle Club’s latest album, Howl was one of the albums that slipped under our radar in 2005 – but we have decided to right that wrong now.

In short, the San Francisco-based band have delivered a mini-masterpiece that easily rates among the best work of their career thus far.

What’s more, it marks something of a departure from the sound that first brought them to our attention, delving into a more blues-based style of songwriting and emerging with some absolute humdingers in the process.

Much has happened since the last BRMC long-player given that by the summer of 2003, the band had collapsed from an unhealthy combination of internal disputes and record company interference.

Indeed, they even disbanded briefly to contemplate the future but managed to reunite with their original incarnation of Peter Hayes, Robert Levon Been and Nick Jago, as well as switch labels to Echo.

The hiatus has proved fruitful. Spearheaded by the deliriously good single, Ain’t No Easy Way, Howl is an excellent collection of tracks to savour.

Ain’t No Easy Way, especially, announced the comeback in grand style, amid slide guitars, mouth organs and a really addictive blend of blues and rock.

Elsewhere, the album gets rolling in fine style with Shuffle Your Feet, a track laden with bluesy swagger and hand-clapping beats.

Title track Howl follows, with its haunting percussions and moody organs serving to confirm that this is the band on the cusp of a magnificent new era.

There’s a tender melancholy enveloping the old-school blues of Devil’s Waitin’ which is quickly replaced by the more upbeat rhythms of the excellent Aint No Easy Way and its successor, Still Suspicion Holds You Tight.

The rest of the album follows along in similarly impressive fashion. Highlights include the bluesy folk of Faultline, the epic guitar sweep of Weight of the World (a track so good it hurts) and the slow-burning beats and acoustic shuffle of Sympathetic Noose.

Need any more persuading? If you haven’t already, go out and buy this album; it’ll have you Howl-ing with joy!

Track listing:
1. Shuffle Your Feet
2. Howl
3. Devil’s Waitin’
4. Ain’t No Easy Way
5. Still Suspicion Holds You Tight
6. Fault Line
7. Promise 8. Weight Of The World
9. Restless Sinner
10. Gospel Song
11. Complicated Situation
12. Sympathetic Noose
13. The Line