CD Review: Black Rebel Motorcycle Club – ‘Specter At The Feast’

By Francesca Fortunato
By March 3, 2013 March 4th, 2013 CD, Reviews

The legendary indie trio from California, Black Rebel Motorcycle Club are back with their seventh album, ‘Specter At The Feast’, set to be released on March 18 with Abstract Dragon Records. Put simply, it does not disappoint. With mesmerising vocals from Peter Hayes, perfectly complimentary backing vocals and solid bass lines from Robert Levon Been, all held together by Leah Shapiro’s dynamic drum beats the trio are back in full swing with what is sure to be fast fan-favourite.

BRMC Specter at the feast

The album starts with the beautiful and haunting intro of ‘Fire Walker’ filled with fantastic harmonics, hitting us with heavy bass notes, driving drums, and gradually leading us in to the captivating tones of Peter Hayes. This track is one that is sure to stick with the listener as the perfect introduction to this long-awaited record, luring us in and setting the tone for the remaining 11 tracks.

Moving on from the beautiful and enthralling first track, the album continues with ‘Let The Day Begin’, a hopeful and motivational sounding track full of upbeat vocals and rocking guitar solos. This song has a pop feel to it, with the fluctuating vocals from Hayes, the repetitive guitar riffs, and the rigorous drumming from Shapiro. Moving from one slow track, to an upbeat pop song, back to a sombre and slow track, ‘Returning’ is a percussion-driven track with a pensive and vulnerable tone. Continuing with what seems to be the alternating “sad to happy” formula of the album, ‘Lullaby’ has a cheery guitar riff and a lively bass line, which creates a perfect contrast with the gloomy sounds of Hayes.

Meanwhile, ‘Some Kind Of Ghost’ reminds us of a church hymnal with a deep blues twist. The deep and moody guitar sounds, coupled with what seems to be an organ, change the tone of the album, completely throwing us through a loop in the best way possible. This track is indeed the “game-changer” of the album with fantastic harmonies from the trio, solid drums and percussion, and of course the alluring lyrics and vocals.

While Black Rebel Motorcycle Club have been around for nearly 15 years, ‘Specter At The Feast’ combines youthful and refreshing sounds with the classic indie band that has developed such a strong and loyal fan-base. The combination of decadent ballads with inspirational and upbeat tracks really serves to demonstrate the band’s constant evolution since 1998.  This album is a great example of getting better with age. BRMC now have a classic sound, and it will be celebrated for decades to come. Brilliant.


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