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Beat The Devil's Tattoo

4.2 out of 5 stars 34 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

2010 release from the Alt-Rock veterans. Somewhere between the five full-length albums and a decade-long road test across the highways of the world, Black Rebel Motorcycle Club found their way. Eleven years after bassist Robert Levon Been and guitarist Peter Hayes started playing gigs around their hometown of San Francisco, the duo has now started over, with a new vision, a new drummer, and the gift of a future unknown. The sound of Beat The Devil's Tattoo comes from everywhere and nowhere- it draws a map and embarks on a sonic road trip through American music; from howling front porch stomps on the Chattanooga and beer-sloshing Texas roadhouse rock-outs, to swaggering proto-Punk sneering in NYC's basement bars.
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (March 9, 2010)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Abstract Dragon
  • ASIN: B00361HV02
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (34 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #77,714 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By David Carlander on March 9, 2010
Format: Audio CD
Upon first listen of Black Rebel Motorcycle Club's latest album, "Beat the Devil's Tattoo," the first reaction might very well be that the range of sound is familiar, very much in the same vein as what the band has put out in years past. The band has its niche, and while they continue to grow and change, overall they've decided to maintain an integrity and consistency with what they want B.R.M.C. to sound like. This observation isn't a criticism -- it's refreshing to see a good band you can count on to not try to reinvent themselves every time it becomes fashionable to do so. Fans who love past albums will love this. Those looking for some good new music will find a unique and exciting listen in "Devil's Tattoo."

When people talk or write about the band, the influence of blues music always seems to get undercut, or perhaps just ignored. The spirit of "Howl" displayed this blues influence more than the other albums perhaps, but B.R.M.C.'s electric, hard-driven rock has always sounded very blues-based. On this album that influence is evident from the title track, to "Conscience Killer," to "River Styx." Don't misunderstand -- this is not a blues record. But the influence of blues into what this band does makes for some driving, head-noddin', foot-tappin' rock music that just makes you feel good. It's an album that arguably gets better on the second and third listen.

It's hard to not sound too over-the-top in praising the band. In a music era where so much of what is put out for consumption is industrial, unoriginal, and just pretty bland, this band has been a breath of fresh air for this reviewer (pardon the cliche). But it's true. There isn't really another band that sounds like them putting out music as consistently as they are.
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Format: Audio CD
Hayes and Been have come a long way from their high school days in San Francisco, and seem to finally be getting some broader attention in the wake of Howl and Baby 81. Beat the Devil's Tattoo represents Leah Shapiro's debut with the power trio. Formerly the touring drummer for the Raveonettes, Shapiro is stellar here. She reminds me of Janet Weiss of Sleater-Kinney, only better suited to Hayes/Been. For those of you who loved Baby 81 you will love this CD. For those who preferred the direction B.R.M.C. was heading with Howl will be once again disappointed. One of these days it would be nice of Mr. Been decided it would be artistically acceptable to include his cover of Dylan's "Visions of Johanna" which he performed recently at a concert in Vancouver on a future reissue of this release. Courtney Jaye adds a fine guest vocal to "The Toll" which for the time being will console me for the want of Mr. Been's brilliant cover version aforementioned. Outstanding tracks: "Bad Blood", "War Machine", "Evol" "Shadow Keeper" and the closing ten minute twenty second "Half-State". **** 1/2 stars
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Format: Audio CD
In 2009, Black Rebel Motorcycle Club closed the final chapter on drummer Nick Lago, who was kicked out of the band after the "Baby 81" 2007 album and tour. Last year's excellent 2DVD/CD "Live" release brought highlights from that tour, and even though heavy on "Baby 81" tracks, this serves as an unofficial look back on the first 10 years or so of the band. In 2008, new drummer Leah Shapiro joined BRMC, and now finally comes the revamped band's fifth studio album.

"Beat the Devil's Tattoo" (13 tracks; 65 min.) starts off with the title track, which just oozes "Howl" all over. After that, we return to the 'classic' heavy BRMC sound with the up-tempo "Conscience Killer", and a slow-burning "War Machine", one of the best tracks on here. "Sweet Feeling" is a nice acoustic breather. The 6 min. "Evol" is another highlight on the album. "Mama Taught Me Better" is a hard charging head-on rocker. There are a couple of songs in the middle of the album that seem unfocused or misdirected (such as "River Styx" and "The Toll"). Towards the end of the album, "Shadow's Keeper" is a nerve-shattering song that comes crashing down eventually, wow. But we're not done. The closer "Half-State" is a 10+ min. epic song that will blow up the roof.

In all, there are enough good songs on here to keep me coming back, but the album is overlong and would've been served well by some tighter editing, keeping some of the weaker tracks for B sides and similar releases. I've seen BRMC a number of times over the years, most recently in the summer of 2008 when new drummer Leah Shapiro had just joined the band. She will do just fine, as she also proves on this album. Can't wait to see how the band will bring these songs live.
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By Hdale on November 19, 2010
Format: MP3 Music
this is what i've been waiting for! looking for! music sucks so much these days that i'd given up and conceded that i would just remain hanging with my old school punk/no wave/blues sounds and nursing on the occasional teat of the rare/random gems found after much searching, as such i was resigned to my fate, and the fact that music, as i love it, was dead, to everything there is a season...but NO! on a whim did i check out the incredulous 'dead winter' from there i was brilliantly lead to 'the kills' and then the wonderous 'black rebel motorcycle club'...damn...it's like i've been sufficating and suddenly've gotten a huge relieving wiff of sweet mother oxygen...i will be buying EVERYthing by these guys, and the others as well....and now to get some 'black angels' for dessert. thank you oh sweet limitless music, you're not dead after all!
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