Black Rebel Motorcycle Club

Walking through the deserted streets of downtown San Diego on a Monday night with a lit cigarette in hand and the chattering of street hustlers exchanging contraband seemed only fitting for the night ahead of me.

Night Beats, Texan televangelists of acid-soaked, honky tonk, apparitions lured the audience into a den of rattlesnake vibrato and hissing reverb. These boys surgically impose their will of soulful and guttural rock and roll every time I see them. Although the line up has changed a few times, or because of it, they gave new energetic renditions of songs from Sonic Bloom and Who Killed My Generation. Extending the songs through vamping and the building of textures the sound of “Night Beats” were nothing short of hypnotic.

Looming in all black get ups and worn leather jackets, Black Rebel Motorcycle Club are the rare breed of savage hearted, no frills, performers.

Dim the lights, start your engines, and lets see who fears death the most. These two boys and one lady drew from the wide array of songs and influences in their catalogue to create a rock n’ roll gospel at the house of blues. From blues mantras like “Shuffling Your Feet” to the hobo midnight ramblers “Devils Waiting” and the poisonous incantation of “Beat the Devil’s Tattoo” this band has no shortage of barn-burners in their arsenal. Standing in the crowd and watching the flashes of light cut through the swirling smoke above their heads gave the feeling of an apocalyptic scene out Twin Peaks’ Roadhouse. The old world notion of honest hardworking music based on true life experiences of the performers resonated that night and I rejoiced leaving high and satisfied.

Review by: Rory Morison
Photos by: Ciara Rzeslawski