Black Rebel Motorcycle Club was well on its way to quietly becoming a legacy artist for Virgin Records until 2004, when the trio was dropped, bounced over to RCA for one album and eventually started its own imprint, Abstract Dragon. (It's distributed by Vagrant Records.) That label just released the band's latest album, Beat the Devil's Tattoo, a sonically diverse collection of tunes that falls somewhere between the roaring psychedelic noise-rock of 2007's Baby 81 and the bluesy Americana of 2005's acoustic effort Howl. "Half-State" takes on the former in a big way; it's a slowly building, effects-laden, ten-plus-minute jam that grooves hard and is a joy to sit back and take in. In contrast, "The Toll" is a subtle, late-night bedroom confessional that slowly builds on a foundation of acoustic strums and lonely harmonica.
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