Black Rebel Motorcycle Club Baby 81 Review

Album. Released 1989.  

BBC Review

Six years into their career, BRMC seem to be growing up...

Chris Jones 2007

Abhilasha Jeyarajah. That's the name you were searching for in case you were wondering. This is Baby 81: the child who survived the Tsunami and was fought over by multiple parents. For a while there's ben something of a fight for the heart and soul of BRMC too, but with the return of drummer Nick Jago, they seem to have fought their way out of their country hole and back into the place we love them the most. The wide open, grunged up landscape where new posibilities aren't just an option, but a way of life.

The changes (and beauties) are signalled on two numbers in particular. The frankly bloated (yet marvellous) "American X" which takes 9 minutes to reach a peak of Muse-like bluster and indignancy, and the daring "Weapon Of Choice" which reminds you of everything you ever loved about the band, yet does it with a panache that they couldn't have mustered three years ago.

While the band still retain the same fuzzed-up vibe there's a sense that they've been actually sitting down and learning some new chords and deciding to tone down the attitude with some real skills. At times this leads to a rather worrying Beatle-esque atmosphere on "Window", yet overall Baby 81 is easily up there with the band's best work. Six years into their career, BRMC seem to be growing up...

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