Today's song, Beat the Devil's Tattoo, is from Black Rebel Motorcycle Club's 2010 critically acclaimed release by the same name. It's the kind of song that stays with you. After hearing it the other day, I haven't been able to get it out of my head. BRMC's pound it out style mixed with gospel-infused rock is the perfect backdrop for this song. The song is dark and moody and its beat infectious.
The name of the album and song is in reference to the Edgar Allen Poe short story, The Devil in the Belfry, written in 1839. Singer Robert Levon Been explains:
It's no surprise to hear that there is a Poe influence in the song. Like many of Poe's works, Beat the Devil's Tattoo comes across as distorted while somehow being darkly beautiful at the same time."Leah [Shapiro, BRMC's new drummer] had given me a book of Poe short stories and I'd immersed myself in it. The one phrase 'Beat The Devils Tattoo' leaped out at me though for some reason. I read up on it and found that it originally meant 'the beat of a drum or a bugle signaling soldiers to return to their camps after dark'. But it's a very old lost phrase. These days, I guess it's used whenever anyone anxiously drums their fingers on a table or taps their foot on the ground incessantly, they're 'beating the devil's tattoo.'"
There is an "official video" for the song which you can see here. While well filmed, I wasn't a big fan of the video, so I am highlighting a live version instead. Have a listen and let me know what you think.