Musings on music delivered when I dig myself out.

Black Rebel Motorcycle Club -- Howl
RCA; 2005

It only takes the Black Rebel Motorcycle club 52 minutes to stomp, strum, and coo away any memory listeners have of their signature sound. While dumping all their Velvet Underground and Jesus & the Mary Chain albums at the local record shop, the trio must have stumbled into a fine collection of early country and folk music. Like ratty sponges the BRMC absorbed, squeezing out some slightly dirty and highly enjoyable country pop. Peter Hayes and Robert Levon Been lay down harmonies as sweet as pie over empowered strumming that could have been done on a porch in Alabama. The nervy tension the BRMC were known for has been calmed down and channeled into somewhat tender ballads about Jesus and the hard knock life. This turn for the yee-haw is a bit mystifying but hardly a mistake; Howl is exactly the cry the BRMC needed to make.

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