Black Rebel Motorcycle Club's 2010 album, Beat the Devil's Tattoo, finds the band splitting the difference between the rootsy Americana of 2005's Howl and the return to fuzzed-out noise rock that was 2007's Baby 81. Having once again parted ways with original drummer Nick Jago, bassist Robert Levon Been and guitarist Peter Hayes seem to have found a renewed creative spark with replacement drummer Leah Shapiro. Shapiro comes to the fold with strong noise rock credentials, having been a member of the punk-psych N.Y.C.-based Dead Combo and touring with the Raveonettes. With an overall sound that seems inspired by a searing mix of old-timey blues mixed with a hypodermic blast of melodic noise, there is a driving, wild-eyed intensity to many of the tracks on Beat the Devil's Tattoo. From the opening death-ballad title track and the gospel-meets-Madchester "Conscience Killer," the stoned robot funk of "War Machine," and the blissed-out acoustic folk ballad "Sweet Feeling," BRMC are in top form. But if you're looking for gutting-jet-engine lift-off, the cosmically epic, sanguine rock anthem "Bad Blood," with its repeated chorus of "I can see it in your eyes and now it's gone" is, like the rest of Beat the Devil's Tattoo, likely to grab you by the throat and leave its mark for some time to come.
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AllMusic Review by Matt Collar