Is The New Black Rebel Motorcycle Club CD "Specter At The Feast" THE SHIT or Just Shit?


One of the main reasons I loved the Ramones so much was because, generally speaking, if you liked one Ramones album, you could pretty much count on liking them all.  Granted, some critics viewed this as the band's fatal flaw, but the truth of the matter is that it's nice to have a band you can count on to consistently deliver the goods without too many unnecessary artistic detours.

Black Rebel Motorcycle Club share more tha a few things with the Ramones, but the most notable one is their tireless dedication to driving home that same familiar mix of hazy shoegaze and dreamy psychedelia that fills their sizable discography.  Specter At The Feast is their sixth album and the truth of the matter is that it doesn't sound that much different from their first.  What makes each new BRMC album so exciting, though, is to hear how much the band have refined their sound and what new colors have been added to their musical palette.  


The most striking aspect of the band's new album isn't the level of song-craft (which is stellar as usual), but their decision to cover "Let The Day Begin", a song recorded by the '80s band The Call.  What makes the appearance of this song so notable is that bassist Robert Levon Been is the son of The Call singer Michael Been, who died suddenly of a heart attack in 2010 while traveling with BRMC as their sound engineer.

The band's treatment of the song is fairly straightforward, not so far removed from the original, but the love and anguish of a son mourning his father's loss fills the song with a new meaning that superbly renews the song for a new generation.

Fans of bands such as House of Love, Cocteau Twins, and latter day Jesus & Mary Chain will find a lot to love about Specter Of The Feast, as each song is a literal plethora of chorus-drenched guitars and thunderous tom-tom rhythms.  "Returning" and "Lullaby" are wonderfully sublime in their ability to be both plaintive and hopeful at the same time.

Song-for-song, this record is the most consistently solid record the band has ever made. 

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