Black Rebel Motorcycle Club made an impressive debut in 2001, taking both America and England by surprise while alternative metal ruled the charts. Their psychedelic/space rock/glam-colored blend was hungry to give rock a new face. Three years later and garage rock still reviving the late-'90s pop-soaked scene, Black Rebel Motorcycle Club aims to save a bit of rock & roll with its sophomore effort Take Them On, On Your Own. More gutsy, more aggressive, and more dynamic than B.R.M.C., Take Them On, On Your Own blazes on with an intoxicating presentation from the Brit-American collective; vocalist/bassist Robert Turner and guitarist/vocalist Peter Hayes boasted cocksure appeal on the last album, however Take Them On, On Your Own showcases drummer Nick Jago's powerful presentation, ultimately bringing the trio together. They're fearless and this dozen-track release is all swagger, emotive, and cool. Swanky guitar riffs and Turner's faltering drawl on "Stop" and "Six Barrel Shotgun" is classic BRMC. There's not a lot of sauntering like "Red Eyes & Tears" and "Spread Your Love" or snarly punk-tinged bits like "Whatever Happened to My Rock & Roll." The band gives the impression that the last album was lifeless, therefore, the split in song and craft on Take Them On, On Your Own isn't exactly a messy thing. There's more character to songs themselves and BRMC appears a touch more confident. From the acoustic ballad "And I'm Aching" to the post-punk fire of "U.S. Government" and "Rise or Fall," BRMC offers substance over shtick. Reworking some of rock & roll's natural components for their own brash arrangement highlights the band's overall brilliance. For only a second album, they've got the maturity that most young bands lack on a creative level. Such tenacity will carry them a long way.
Review by MacKenzie Wilson
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