BRMC – Wrong Creatures review

Secret Meeting score: 63

by Phil Scarisbrick

I was totally shocked the other day to learn that new long-player, Wrong Creatures, is Black Rebel Motorcycle Club’s eighth studio album. They were a band whose first two albums I loved as a teenager, but they seemed to fade into obscurity (or simply out of my consciousness). I imagined what the three members might have been up to now; radio disc jockeys? actors? selling real estate? selling crack? I simply had no idea. It turns out my ignorance almost saw me miss a record that is actually pretty good.

The signature sound of Spread Your Love – an absolute banger which still lights up indie discos across the globe – is still present and correct. There’s something that seems more compelling about this band now though. Little Thing Gone Wild ticks all the usual BRMC boxes sound wise, but its slick, biblical lyrics give it an extra punch. Elsewhere, we hear them veer from the well-trodden, generic indie path. Circus Bazooko is driven along by a music-box organ, fighting with Peter Hayes’ guitar for the leading role. Album closer All Rise starts with a simple piano chord sequence which builds through strings, horns and crashing drums. A derivative-yet-charming rock power-ballad that is still so distinctly a BRMC song.

Wrong Creatures may break no musical boundaries and contains several missteps (Question Of Faith and Calling Them All Away are just two that feel very flat and a tad dull), but on the whole I’m glad that this lot are still making music for us. This may not be an album that stays on my headphones for too long. But for anyone who has questioned “Whatever Happened To My Rock ‘N’ Roll?” it turns out that it is still very much alive and well with its San Franciscan custodians.