When their debut album came out three years ago, Black Rebel Motorcycle Club were in obvious debt to a particular Eighties Brit-rock band, earning them the unfortunate nickname Black Rebel Mary Chain. The L.A. trio sticks with Jesus and Mary Chain-style swirly, fuzz-drenched rock on Take Them On, On Your Own but puts its own imprint onto the sound. Like the standout tracks on their previous CD, the opening number here, "Stop," declares its presence with a wet, sexy bass line, which serves as the song's melodic anchor as Peter Hayes' guitar bathes in its own feedback. Other numbers ("Six Barrel Shotgun") rev hard and fast, exactly like Detroit garage rock would sound to three California Anglophiles. On "Ha Ha High," they indulge their psychedelic tendencies with an impenetrable tangle of noise that loops and loops and loops all the way out to space while Hayes pants, "You're ha ha high baby/You can't keep it on the ground." Original it's not. But it still sounds awfully good while it's happening.
(RS 931, September 18, 2003)