Black Rebel Motorcycle Club : BRMC

Darling, the rock 'n' roll we ordered has arrived...

So what you gonna do when Senorita Heartbreak comes kicking down your door?

You gonna curl up under your ‘Bagpuss’ duvet and weep along to ‘Trouble’ on

repeat like ten whole kinds of pussy? Or you gonna slip on your leathers, rev

up your jet black Harley, aim your shades for the seven hills and chase the

devil through the desert, barking at the moon? You James Walsh or James Dean?

Rebel or roadkill? Ask yourself this, punk: are you part of the problem or

are you a fully pained-up member of the Black Rebel Motorcycle Club?

BRMC – from ‘Frisco via LA via a spanking new sonic cathedral somewhere on the Mojave wastelands – are almost mathematically cool; engineered by

scientists for optimum cult appeal and smoulderability. Page one of the

[I]Lou Reed Guide To Being All Moody And Mysterious And That[/I], it’s all

here – the black leather jackets, the vintage metal T-shirts, the cheekbones
The Strokes could sue over, the burning desire for the world to still be in black and white. They refuse to be photographed anywhere other than deserted

inner city street corners with a dead puppy in the gutter they can gaze

mournfully down at. Whip off their uniform black strides and they probably

have C-O-O-O-O-L tattooed across their arse cheeks. As the Brando-inspired

moniker and the furious nostalgia of ‘Whatever Happened To My Rock’N’Roll

(Punk Song)’ suggest, here be [I]heritage[/I]: BRMC are the rightful heirs of the Enigmatic And Vaguely Dangerous-Looking Men In Black crown and each generation can have only one. The Velvets, Joy Division, The Jesus & Mary Chain, Primal Scream and now, dearest kids, here’s yours. Fucking exciting,

aren’t they?

The dead at heart will try to ruin them for you, of course. They’ll whine

about how we’ve met BRMC before in the curl of McCulloch’s lip, the spaced-out supersonic scree of early Verve and the wild thrust of the MC5’s leather-clad ‘packets’. Most pertinently they’ll point at the deadpan romanticism of ‘Love Burns’, the scorching guitar maelstroms resembling the sound of Hell’s chill-out room on ‘Awake’, ‘Too Real’ and ‘Salvation’ and the

namedrops of Jesus all over the shop (“[I]I wouldn’t come back if I’d have

been Jesus/I’m the kind of guy who leaves the scene of the crime[/I]” sings

candyfloss-haired Peter Hayes on ‘White Palms’, amusingly) and they’ll cry Mary Chain.

There’s no higher backhanded compliment: all of these incredible

songs shimmer and vibrate with the riotous majesty of ‘Psychocandy’ without a trace of the Mary Chain‘s post-‘Honey’s Dead’ self-parody. It’s that

goddanged forward looking US revivalism again, and it’s given us another

bunch of pouting young gunslingers to become psychotically obsessive over for

the rest of our lives. Last one down the tattoo parlour still like Turin


Mark Beaumont