|Black Rebel Motorcycle Club
by Betsy Ellison
The third album from trio Black Rebel Motorcycle Club might be their strongest release yet. Instead of relying on the straight up rock and roll of their previous albums, Howl relies more on their folk, country, gospel and blues influences. Thatís not to say that their rock and roll ethos has totally gone out the window, and in fact the contrary is true. Howl is a great mixture of the rock and roll sound people have grown accustomed to with BRMC and their influences. "Ainít No Easy Way," the fourth song on the album, sounds almost like it came straight out of the Allman Brothers songbook. Itís strange how a group from California can master genres most identified with the south, but that goes to show how good of a band BRMC really is. There are tinges of the south everywhere: the aforementioned southern rock sound of "Ainít No Easy Way," the straight up blues of "Fault Line," and the gospel of aptly named "Gospel Song."
Not every song on Howl is a winner, though. "Promise," the seventh song on the album, is boring and nearly unlistenable. The final song, "The Line," drags on for a while before making way for the hidden song, "Open Invitation," which is much better. It ends the album on a positive note, similar to those so prevalent throughout.