Upon first listen of Black Rebel Motorcycle Club's latest album, "Beat the Devil's Tattoo," the first reaction might very well be that the range of sound is familiar, very much in the same vein as what the band has put out in years past. The band has its niche, and while they continue to grow and change, overall they've decided to maintain an integrity and consistency with what they want B.R.M.C. to sound like. This observation isn't a criticism -- it's refreshing to see a good band you can count on to not try to reinvent themselves every time it becomes fashionable to do so. Fans who love past albums will love this. Those looking for some good new music will find a unique and exciting listen in "Devil's Tattoo."
When people talk or write about the band, the influence of blues music always seems to get undercut, or perhaps just ignored. The spirit of "Howl" displayed this blues influence more than the other albums perhaps, but B.R.M.C.'s electric, hard-driven rock has always sounded very blues-based. On this album that influence is evident from the title track, to "Conscience Killer," to "River Styx." Don't misunderstand -- this is not a blues record. But the influence of blues into what this band does makes for some driving, head-noddin', foot-tappin' rock music that just makes you feel good. It's an album that arguably gets better on the second and third listen.
It's hard to not sound too over-the-top in praising the band. In a music era where so much of what is put out for consumption is industrial, unoriginal, and just pretty bland, this band has been a breath of fresh air for this reviewer (pardon the cliche). But it's true. There isn't really another band that sounds like them putting out music as consistently as they are. Yes, in many ways "Devil" sounds very much like their past records, but it's hard to see why that's a bad thing. Maybe this isn't new territory for the band, but these songs are new, and that's reason enough to go out and pick this up. I'm on my third listen for the day, and it sounds better each time. Can't wait to see them live.