BRMC have always been a band entrenched in the past: from their influences, which range Led Zep to The Jesus and Mary Chain, to taking their name from Marlon Brando's biker gang in The Wild One. They've played around with styles, incorporated psychedelic and noise elements alongside traditional rock structures over all their albums; but their hits have been surrounded by misses in the search to stay hip and relevant. Wrong Creatures, produced by Nick Launay, best known for his work with Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Arcade Fire and Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds aims to channels the essence of the band's attitude and style and give it a new focus.
The rhythmic opener, DFF, lulls us into thinking that we may experience a different soundscape on this album and for the early part of the record things sound sharp and invigorating. 'Spook' kicks things off with the relish of 70s infused rock, repackaged with an American nonchalance. 'King of Bones' follows the retro theme with a electronic feel and a melancholic vocal and scuzzy instrumentation. The guitar croons on the Nick Cave inspired ballad 'Hurt'. There's a noirish feel to this track that makes it as disorientating as a walk across the desert; it's certainly one of the more cinematic tracks on the album. However, the rippling effects of the chanting and tribal beats from the album's haunting overture soon give way to fatigue for the middle part of the album.
'Question of Faith' piques more interest with its retro style beat and jangling guitar. It's dark, moody and along with being the most commercial sounding tracks it's also one of the better songs on the album. Little Thing Gone gives the album a much-needed defibrillation. 'Circus Bazooko' attempts to venture into bizarre psychedelia but ends up being a geriatric chase around the hall of mirrors while the aptly titled 'Carried From The Start' is well suited to an album so uninspired that it feels like the band have given up. Even the melancholic closer desperation of 'All Rise' lacks the passion and purpose embedded in its lyrics. Despite the obvious comparisons with Nick Cave and The Doors the album still tries too hard to be chic, often to the point that where it borders on apathy. Its frequently languorous, stoner melodies shuffle along, rarely getting the blood pumping. If Brando's gang had been this rebellious, they'd have turned around and gone home. Wrong Creatures is a disappointing and nascent album from the band who were once hailed as the epitome of indie cool.
Groupie Rating 2/5