BRMC roll into the Phoenix Saturday (September 24). Rating: NNN
The guys in BRMC are like those kids who were all really into Tori Amos one day and showed up at school the next week with a Mohawk and a Black Flag tat. The drugged-out, fuzzed-out Jesus and Mary Chainisms that dominated Take Them On, On Your Own have been usurped by lots of country twang and that oh-so-hip Delta-roots-gospel trend that's sweeping the continent. Yet as contrived and heartless as BRMC's shift is, Howl, with all its gothy acoustic guitar, chiming organ and Jesus talk, still manages to stir the soul. It's nothing close to authentic or original, but the spare arrangements and crafty melodicism of Rob Turner (now Robert Levon Been, his real name) envelop the listener in an eerily intimate way that makes you want to give it repeated spins.