Wrong Creatures embraces diversity of sound
Early in their 20th year together as a group, the rock band from San Francisco, California has released Wrong Creatures, their eighth full-length studio album. While much of Black Rebel Motorcycle Club’s past works as well as the group’s name scream garage rock, Wrong Creatures does not always follow suit — but that is not necessarily a bad thing.
The album excellently kicks off with “DFF,” which is a haunting 2-minute instrumental introduction to the album. An entrancing and mysterious rock vibe is established, which may actually be a little misleading compared to the rest of the album. While tracks such as “Spook,” “Ninth Configuration” and “Echo” offer guitar and drums like any rock song, the slight influence of pop can be heard. Nonetheless, the grit and attitude of rock are present, especially in Hayes’ vocals.
“King of Bones” is the third track on the album and one of the tracks previously released as a single. The song brings some more dynamism to the table as distorted guitar echoes and thrashes throughout this dark rock tune. “Little Thing Gone Wild” was the other track to be released as a single, and it fits the pattern. The power builds throughout the song, and each instrument is highlighted individually — none stealing the spotlight. The sound is fresh and exciting and will leave listeners subconsciously tapping their feet quickly to the beat.
Some songs are slightly softer and sweeter, showcasing an often forgotten side of the genre. In this category, “Haunt” and “Calling Them All Away” stand out as veering closer to alternative than rock at times. The 13th and final track, “All Rise,” epitomizes the term “anthem” as it emotionally builds. The track strongly closes out the album on a note that most would not expect from this album.
The overall sound of the album is different than what some might be expecting, but Wrong Creatures is still a dynamic and fun listen. While some listeners may be left craving a little more intensity, others will appreciate the refreshing variety showcased on the album. Even after 20 years, Black Rebel Motorcycle Club is not out of ideas.