Every Monday through Friday, we deliver a different song as part of our Song of the Day podcast subscription. This podcast features exclusive KEXP in-studio performances, unreleased songs and recordings from independent artists that our DJs think you should hear. Each and every Friday, we deliver songs by local artists. Today’s selection, featured on the Morning Show with John Richards, is the title track from Black Rebel Motorcycle Club‘s 2010 album, Beat the Devil’s Tattoo, on Abstract Dragon/Vagrant.
Put on your leather jacket and sun glasses and tune in the sound of rock & roll to start the week, as San Francisco’s based Black Rebel Motorcycle Club takes over the handlebars to show the power of their strings, and unusual subject matters in the words with their new album Beat the Devil’s Tattoo.
Formed in the late nineties by bassist Robert Levon Been and guitarist Peter Hayes and drummer Nick Jago, Black Rebel Motorcycle Club have put out five studio albums leading up to last month’s release, Beat the Devil’s Tattoo, all the while keeping up with their alternative garage rock song and their “rebel” style. This time, though, the band decided to evolve their musical style with more prominent elements of post-punk, psychedelia and harmonies that remind of southern rock.
“Beat the Devil’s Tattoo,” the first single from the album, is a driving, retro-sounding tune that makes heavy overtures to bands of the 1960’s, including The Rolling Stones and Velvet Underground, and perhaps some James Dean. Also, there is a demeanor of madness towards an idea of unrequited love as the lyrics recall:
You have forsaken all the love you’ve taken
Sleeping on a razor there’s nowhere left to fall
Your body’s aching every bone is breaking
Nothing seems to shake it it just keeps holding on
I thread the needle through
You beat the devil’s tattoo
BRMC performed at South by Southwest Music Festival last month as part of the KEXP’s live broadcast. You can listen to the entire performance at the Gibson Showroom and check out photos from the session. The band also released an official video to “Beat the Devil’s Tattoo” to support their new album: