Baby 81 is an album by Black Rebel Motorcycle Club. It is their fourth studio album and was released on April 30, 2007 in Europe and on May 1, 2007 in the U.S.. The album features a harder, more raw sound compared with their previous record Howl. It was also a studio comeback for drummer Nick Jago who was unable to participate during the recordings of Howl (other than the last track recorded during the sessions, 'Promise'). A DualDisc edition of the album was set to be released on May 1 in the U.S.; however, it has since been canceled. The album debuted at number 46 on the U.S. Billboard 200, selling about 14,000 copies in its first week.
With 2010's superb Beat the Devil's Tattoo, Black Rebel Motorcycle Club found a balance between their muscular, fuzzed-out noise rock and rootsy if no less punk-inspired take on American blues and country. The trio, now featuring singer/bassist Robert Levon Been, singer/guitarist Peter Hayes, and drummer Leah Shapiro (who joined for Devil's Tattoo), seemed to have matured into a fully realized version of its younger self. BRMC's seventh studio album, 2013's Specter at the Feast, takes this musical maturation even further, as the band delves into a moody, sustained, and long-form dream pop aesthetic. Much of this introspection is most likely inspired by the loss of Robert Been's father, the Call frontman Michael Been, who suffered a heart attack and died backstage at the 2010 Pukkelpop Festival in Belgium.
Having been joined by drummer Leah Shapiro of The Raveonettes, San Francisco rockers Black Rebel Motorcycle Club follow-up to 2008's instrumental and experimental record 'The Effects Of 333'. Returning to the melodic country gospel of 'Howl' (2005), while also referring heavily to their self-titled2001 debut's hard-hitting sound, 'Beat The Devil's Tattoo' is a powerful record full of fuzzy bass and guitar swagger. Peter Hayes and Robert Been sound as determined and relentless as ever.
The opening tom hits and fuzzbox riffs that start Indigo Meadow give the indication that this is yet another turn on the Black Angels' merry-go-round of stoner rock and neo-psychedelia. However, the third song, "Don't Play with Guns," takes a decided turn with its big pop single hook, and the follow-ups "Holland" and "The Day" follow suit, as songs that are more carefully structured than the usual two-chord repetition that we've grown to expect. Not that there's anything wrong with the sound of bands like Spacemen 3 and Black Rebel Motorcycle Club, but after several albums based on repetition, this is a pleasant, unexpected change for the Austinites.