Saturday, May 21, 2011

The Reno Gazette-Journal "Baby 81" review...

i guess Mr.Oakes is not one of "us" ...

Black Rebel Motorcycle Club

"Baby 81"; RCA Records
2 stars (out of 4)

Black Rebel Motorcycle Club's 2001 debut album had its moments, but it wasn't quite a complete album and seemed like warmed-over Jesus and Mary Chain. Nonetheless, you had high hopes for the second album. Fast forward two years, and repeat the same scenario: not a great album, but if their sound matures, they might be one of your favorites. Then in 2005, they release the stripped-down "Howl," and you begin to lose hope. You see a pattern, but you want so badly to like them that you get their fourth album, "Baby 81." Maybe now you've learned your lesson.

Typically, BMRC's albums feature one or two great songs and the rest is filler, but this time around there are four songs ("Berlin," "Need Some Air," "Weapon of Choice" and "Window) that sound more like BMRC instead of sounding like BMRC trying to sound like the Stone Roses. Most of the lyrics are about bringing about change and, within that context, have a put-your-money-where-your-mouth-is aesthetic. This is especially evident in the opening verse of the U2-tinged "All You Do Is Talk" (Help yourself, don't say a thing/your love won't show in anything you do/if all you do is talk).

Though the LA-based trio has put together a more complete album than their previous three efforts as a result of better melodies and vocals that sneer (think Liam Gallagher of Oasis) more than they drone, it all becomes a bit tiresome after 13 songs, one of which is over nine minutes long (and not because they're giving the whole prog-rock thing a go).

RIYL: The Stone Roses; The Jesus and Mary Chain; Oasis

-- David Oakes, The Reno Gazette-Journal