Album review: Black Rebel Motorcycle Club, Specter At The Feast

The San Franciscans have been through the emotional wringer in recent times, frontman Robert Been’s father Michael suffering a fatal heart attack backstage while working with the band in Belgium in 2010.

Black Rebel Motorcycle Club

Specter At The Feast

Vagrant Records, £13.99

Star rating: * * *

He played bass and sang with Eighties outfit The Call, and his son covers their best-known song Let The Day Begin on this sixth album from BRMC.

It’s a work of greater clarity than its predecessors, channelling those Jesus And Mary Chain obsessions with greater objectivity. Opening with the quasi-Oriental pretention of Fire Walker, there seems to be a conscious effort to progress past fuzz guitars and black-leather-jacketed morbid obsession.

It emerges from the mannered beginnings – sluggish, gothic posturing – to spring to life with elastic bass riffing on Hate The Taste.

Lead guitar drives the tune right up into your grill, with Robert’s vocal sparkling and clear as it dances on top of the mix.

Lullaby is almost frothy and fragrant (although everything is relative to the band’s grumpy past), but songs like this could attract a new audience.

Out of the same reflective song drawer is Returning, while the snarl of Rival and Sell It prove Been’s ability to hang rough and tough when required.

Download this: Hate The Taste, Sell It