For 15 years, Black Rebel Motorcycle Club has carried the torch for true rock and roll. The latest edition of the firebrand rock troupe, sees them at their most dynamic. Their sixth studio album, "Specter at the Feast," ventures into diverse sonic territory, delivering their most ambitious offering yet. It's an album of impossible dichotomies; opposing sounds amalgamate into a seamless, entirely coherent package, that rumbles with driving rhythms, and soars with skyward-arcing guitar howls. Robert Been delivers growling bass grooves on "Hate the Taste," and Peter Hayes' guitar wails on what may be their most hard-rocking song, "Rival." Counterbalancing these frenetic outbursts are moments of star-gazing ambient textures, like the crystalline harmonics introducing the slinking album opener, "Fire Walker," and the organ drones of "Returning." There are moments of down-home blues paired alongside flailing punk bombasticism; gnarled dark rock shores upon uplifting, and optimistic anthems. Taking cues from all points of the band's many years on the road, this record is the band's most well-realized album to date. "We thought about making it a double album," Been says of the many songs that were written for the record.
To write the album, the Los Angeles band traveled north to the sleepy Northern California town of Santa Cruz, where they holed up in an old Post Office-turned-recording studio. It was here, just a few blocks from where Been grew up, that they began to write.
"Peter would spend all day and night in that studio," Been recalls, "[Drummer] Leah [Shapiro] and I would go and check on him every few days, and he'd show us these incredible textures and guitar lines that he built."
"I've never seen the sunrise so many times," Hayes laughs, "I'd work all night on these songs, trying to get them right."
Prior to heading north to Santa Cruz, Dave Grohl invited them to his Studio 606, home to the storied Neve 8028 console soundboard from the legendary Sound City — the subject of his recent documentary — and on which Nirvana created "Nevermind" and BMRC recorded their debut album in 2001. "It was a nice sense return," Been says, "to come back to the place where it all began for us."
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ticket goes to War Child to support children and families in communities
affected by war throughout the world http://warchildusa.org/homeusa