Rhythm & Views 


This somewhat sorrowful trio (two moody Americans and a transplanted Brit of barely legal drinking age) has been listening to a lot of Jesus and Mary Chain, Spacemen 3, the Verve and My Bloody Valentine. Obviously the case, if their fuzz-laden self-titled debut, an amalgamation of churning late-'80s psychedelic guitars and an unwavering nod to the droning pop of early '90s shoe gazers, is any indication.

On the distortion-loaded punk guitar squall of "Whatever Happened to My Rock 'n' Roll (Punk Song)," the San Francisco-based three-piece kicks out the jams with a heart full of napalm and the smell of teen spirit. Here B.R.M.C. (they swiped the moniker from the name of Marlon Brando's biker gang in the '50s flick The Wild One) fuses its combustible blend of white noise guitar washes with compelling, invigorating melodies uniting them both to sonic perfection.

Sinister blues-rock stomps like "Spread Your Love," with its booming Marc Bolan-flavored bass line, seizes you by the throat before you can scream "Iggy Pop." The entire disc revolves around one gargantuan-sized post-punk riff after another that evokes imagery of Ian Curtis of Joy Division jamming on the front porch with R.L. Burnside and the Velvet Underground in tow, each dueling for the feedback-riddled spotlight. "Too Real" is a tidal wave of shimmering guitars and lazy, impassive vocals with a sentiment of immorality and narcotic detachment.

This self-produced, major-label excursion is a charismatic tour-de-force (despite its sometimes repetitive tendencies) of driving, over-amplified guitars and hammering drums with dark, introspective lyrics (for example, the glistening "Rifles" confronts the subject of imminent death).

B.R.M.C. possess a mighty strength not to be taken lightly and an occasional brilliance not to be refuted. These lads are just beginning to scratch the surface of what wondrous psychedelic-drenched guitar adventures lie ahead.

More by Ron Bally


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