What’s in a name? Nothing and everything. Black Rebel Motorcycle Club now goes by the acronym BRMC, which is a move in the right direction, as their full title sounds like the worst kind of throwaway, late-night, drugged jam session.
The music on Beat the Devil’s Tattoo, their fifth studio release, expresses more permanence. There’s the usual rock ‘n’ roll pretense to the lyrics, which are often sound masquerading as significance, but that sound pulls itself up from the shorthand of hip to rest on a plateau of groove strong enough to carry a listener over the bumps and rough patches. Certain songs, like “Bad Blood,” transcend the gullibility of genre to imbue notes and chords with an emotional resonance that bedrocks the album. A third of the way in, the band turns up the volume on a lush soundscape that speaks louder than words.