New directions

Some might say that BRMC have had a rough couple of years. After being dropped by Virgin records, they had a falling out with their management, before parting ways with their drummer Nick Jago reportedly due to drug problems. However things are looking up for the band once more as they have a new record label and have been reunited with their estranged drummer.

'Howl' is the third album to be released from Black Rebel Motorcycle Club, this trio from San Francisco. Set for release at the end of August, the album features the band's new single, 'Ain't No Easy Way'.

After listening to 'Howl' I really think that the group are to a winner with this album, which is sure to be a hit with the fans. One of the stand out tracks is definitely the new single 'Ain't no Easy Way' which is about "falling in love and falling apart" according to Peter Hayes, the group's singer. It really is a great song; it's upbeat, catchy and will definitely be a hit for this summer. The track could easily be mistaken for a Country song with the guitar sound; very American sounding laid back rock 'n' roll.

A thoughtful and slightly melancholic record, the album is stripped back to dark, brooding vocals layered with memorable melodies which proves to be an effective combination, be sure to check out tracks like 'Shuffle Your Feet'. This album marks a new turning point for BRMC, they have evolved and an altogether different sound is produced. A clear gospel influence can be heard on tracks such as 'Gospel Song' and 'Promise'. The diversity of 'Howl' can also been seen in the range of musical instruments the band have introduced to this record, from piano to acoustic guitar to harmonica.

As a band named after Marlon Brando's gang in 'The Wild One', the band's musical influences on 'Howl' appear to be synonymous with this theme. The album has a range of sounds that could have been drawn from various artists like Johnny Cash, Lou Reed and Bob Dylan.

The new album has already received some harsh comments from certain publications, who accuse the band of sucking due to their introduction of acoustic guitars. I do feel this is unjustified, I really believe that fans should give the album a chance before dismissing it.

Black Rebel Motorcycle Club have just completed a tour of the UK to promote this album, and you can catch them at this year's Reading and Leeds festival before they embark on a tour of the U.S. I can imagine that Black Rebel Motorcycle Club will be a great band to kick back and watch this summer.