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Black Rebel Motorcycle Club keeps rocking on ‘Wrong Creatures’

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Three stars

Black Rebel Motorcycle Club Wrong Creatures

It feels wrong somehow to call the latest Black Rebel Motorcycle Club album “new music,” considering the San Francisco band hasn’t modified its sound in any significant way since its 2001 debut. But that’s not a complaint or a dismissal. Bands like BRMC are in short supply these days—earnest barroom rockers whose guitars sound like they’re plugged into a Harley-Davidson—and if Wrong Creatures plays like a continuation of a set rather than a fresh start, what’s wrong with that? It’s not like Ed Sheeran is gonna take us where BRMC can.

Wrong Creatures shuffles back and forth between gritted-teeth rockers like “Spook” (whose bridge lyric, “It’s just another song/And then it’s gone,” seems an invitation from the band not to take this stuff too seriously), and spacey shoegaze numbers like the beguiling “Echo,” which finds the band straying into Mazzy Star territory— brush drums, lots of cool blue reverb and a lullaby refrain of “Be still my love/I don’t wanna tear you down.” Album closer “All Rise” bridges the gap between the two with a rising wall of sound and a promise to “[scream] until there’s nothing left.” For real rockers like BRMC, there’s no better mission statement.

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