Take Them On, On Your Own (Virgin)
by Scott Deckman
“We don’t like you, we just want to try you,” say Black Rebel Motorcycle Club on their sophomore record, Take Them On, On Your Own. Clever maxims and epigrams are en vogue with this forced-dirty bunch from San Francisco. While they don’t sound like The Strokes or The White Stripes or, shit, just about anybody else out there making noise, they bring the same gritty, dirty rocker ethos that drives the girls crazy and the boys to shake their heads slowly and say, “Yeah, they’re cool.”
Musically, this isn’t much different from their eponymous release: Same noise and attitude, but less chops. And the clichéd liberal outrage doesn’t exactly yell protean. Still, you have to be thrilled a band that sounds like The Jesus And Mary Chain have a fucking audience these days. Christ, these guys are learning so fast, they’ve even added a sublime acoustic number here, “And I’m Aching” – one of the album’s best tracks – where it took their musical forefathers a decade to go that route (at least consistently) on 1994’s Stones & Dethroned, which, ironically, was The Jesus And Mary Chain’s worst album. But, like their Scottish progenitors, the thing that really sets the B.R.M.C. apart from some of indie rock’s new kings is the pure wall of sound they make with their guitars. Think Phil Spector on acid or the Reid brothers born a decade and a half too late. And props for maybe the coda of the year courtesy of “US Government”: “You’re gonna suffer, you’re gonna make it.” Next time, hopefully they will – make a record worthy of their talents.
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