Specter At This
Black Rebel Motorcycle Club have been kicking around for 15 years now, so to only be up to studio album number 6 would be considered slow going but as the saying goes "Good things come to those that wait".
Previous album Beat The Devil's Tattoo took a few listens to make me realise the class that it truly was, following Baby 81 was no easy task. However, it is not the past we are reviewing, it is the present and this comes in the form of Specter At The Feast, which has to follow both and it was clear on the first listen that this is one amazing album.
I am not sure who was in charge of selecting the track order but for the fans of BRMC's album Take Them On, On Your Own will absolutely adore tracks 5, 6 and 7 (Hate The Taste, Rival and Teenage Disease) these are your real kick ass, fast paced BRMC style tunes, which will no doubt have a sweaty mosh pit when played live. If anyone still has doubts Leah Shapiro is a suitable replacement for Nick Jago, then they are well and truly dispersed right here. Quite simply Leah brings a new dimension to BRMC. There are even some Howlesque type tracks too in the shape of Returning, Some Kind Of Ghost and especially Sometimes The Light.
With 12 tracks and coming in just shy of 60 minutes worth of music, there are way too many positives to mention and literally no negatives at all. One indication that an album is great is that there are tracks at the end of the album like the penultimate tune, Sell It, which at over 6 minutes long you can imagine being an awesome way to close any live set. Only problem is that BRMC have about 20 tracks that fit the bill of "Awesome set closer" already.
There are nice touches on the album, Let The Day Begin is a cover of Robert Levon Been's late father's band The Call. We can only imagine the emotion Robert must have felt when doing this and even more so when he takes his father's place in the lineup when The Call play a couple of shows in America soon.
Not only do BRMC play great music, they are a nice bunch too and often play longer than they should. One incident springs to mind, playing a headline gig at London's Electric Ballroom the band got delayed in arriving thanks to the Icelandic volcano ash cloud. This left a delay in opening the doors to the venue. Robert Levon Been came out to apologies in person, bringing his guitar and playing a few songs for those standing in line. Only a handful of bands would even consider doing that - actions speak louder than words.
Their music speaks pretty loudly too. Specter At The Feast an album of the year contender? You bet it is.