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Black Rebel Motorcycle Club: Gutsy Rock 'n' Roll

Black Rebel Motorcycle Club.
Black Rebel Motorcycle Club.

Taking its name from Marlon Brando's biker gang in 1953's The Wild One, Black Rebel Motorcycle Club has been crafting bluesy, psychedelic garage-rock since forming in 1998. After scoring radio play in the L.A. area and developing a live following, the band signed a label deal and released its self-titled debut in 2001; the disc showcased a fascination with early-'90s shoegazer rock and Velvet Underground-style feedback. A slicker and more aggressive follow-up, 2003's Take Them On, On Your Own, demonstrated more bluesy swagger, while the largely acoustic and Americana-influenced Howl cemented the group's reputation for sturdy songwriting in 2005.

Upon first listen, the gutsy rock 'n' roll of the new Baby 81 stands in stark contrast to the rootsy folk-rock of the record that preceded it. Still, closer examination reveals that the driving riffs often mask an acoustic core, making Baby 81 a record that ties Black Rebel Motorcycle Club's disparate sounds together while still moving forward.

Copyright 2007 XPN

David Dye
David Dye is a longtime Philadelphia radio personality whose music enthusiasm has captivated listeners of World Cafe® since 1991. World Cafe is produced by WXPN, the public radio service of the University of Pennsylvania.