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Baby 81 

Black Rebel Motorcycle Club

Red Ink; Release date: May 1, 2007

The Deal: San Francisco outfit returns to their rock base for follow-up to '05's rootsy Howl.

The Good: While band follows the footsteps of bands like The Strokes, Jet and The White Stripes in the retro rock arena, there's enough diversity in their style to make it sound fresh. The six-minute "Windows" has an Oasis style to it, while "Not What You Wanted" sounds more like The Beatles. There's heavy layers of distortion laid out throughout the 13-track album, but it's nothing too metal. The band stands firmly in their rock shoes, but also keep in touch with their folk side.

The Bad: Sometimes feedback works, and sometimes it just sounds like noise. The solo toward the end of "Took Out a Loan" teeters between the two. While it still sounds good at this point, there will come a time when the "retro rock" movement will get old.

The Verdict: They may have gone back to a more electric feel, but the same relaxed vibe is there. It's just a little more charged up this time around.

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