Posts Tagged ‘The Growlers’

The Growlers Tour Dates

With a name like The Growlers first time listeners could be forgiven for thinking latest LP ‘City Club’ is a snarling effort, but behold this release from the American band is more of a further exploration of quintessential thumping bass lines, slinky synths and charmingly distorted vocals. This is the collective’s fifth studio record, and although the follow up to 2014’s ‘Chinese Fountain’, it’s the first release for them on Julian Casablancas’ Cult Records.

Opener ‘City Club’ is funky and grooving as it sets the tone for the rest of the album. Aside from powerful and prominent bass lines, jangling guitars and an element of scuzz laced through singer Brooks Nielson’s vocal threaten a placid disco rock sound. Another highlight is the softer and more lingering ‘Night Ride’. As the title would suggest this is a track best listened to whilst cruising around downtown LA of an evening rather than on a lengthy commute home.

Although this record carries a swooning 70s sonic theme throughout, switches in the instrumental elements avoid it sounding too samey. ‘Dope On A Rope’ is a more intricate affair with gentle guitars and kaleidoscopic electronics, while the acoustic and synth led ‘When You Were Made’ could almost be pigeonholed as a ballad with Nielson crooning, “Don’t get too down on yourself/they were in love when you were made.”

Overall there is a distinct retro vibe to ‘City Club’. Most of the tracks possess a nostalgic groove which wouldn’t render them out of place in an episode of the enigmatic Twin Peaks. It’s definitely an older sound from the band that not so long ago released a single titled ‘Uncle Sam’s A Dick’ and despite the aforementioned lack of snarl, this record definitely has plenty of bite.

The Growlers, “Rubber & Bone” Directed by George Trimm for Buzzcut Films
From the album, City Club, available now from Cult Records.

“The Growlers”, shot while touring through California, Nevada, New Mexico, and Texas.

A decade deep and five albums in, City Club is the band’s debut effort for Cult Records and it’s also the first album that welcomes outside influence in the form of label head, Strokes singer, Julian Casablancas working alongside Shawn Everett (Weezer) on production. The collaboration was clearly a harmonious one: The Growlers retain their scuzzy, spooky, surf-pop swoon (“When You Were Made,” “World Unglued”), but their songwriting’s more concise, sharply focused, and perfectly realized, with added flourishes including sexy sax and synth action, and some well-placed plinkety guitar lines . They’ve opted for more pop while managing to retain their grit, and, like all the best rock ‘n’ roll records, listening to City Club makes you feel cool as fuck

There’s just something about these synths and this bass groove that smacks of late nights and tawdry tales. “Night Ride” depicts a scene we’ve all witnessed, or been a part of surreptitious trips to the bathroom, the devil in the dimly-lit basement, the sun shaming the night sky to dawn, and you wondering why the hell you’re back here yet again. “Tomorrow night will go on without you, till dawn and no one will care…” sings Growlers’ Brooks Nielsen.

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It’s just one of the tasters from their most excellent fifth album City Club (out September 30th): A delicious, 13 track collection that weds a pack-a-day gruffness with deft pop hooks. There’s a hypnotic, give-a-fuck 70s street swagger to it, thanks to the muscular basslines, but also a surfy swoon to Neilson’s casual-cool croon. It’s the band’s first album with Julian Casablancas’s Cult Records—and LP which The Strokes frontman produced.

“The Growlers may be the most interesting band in the world, certainly one of the coolest,” notes Casablancas. “Nor gypsy, nor goth, nor surfer, nor punk, yet somehow all of them.”

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Now, this track isn’t feisty in the loud, distorted guitars and smashing drums sense. No, it’s feisty in a dirty-funky-grimy kind of way which remind me of the Clash. With repeated phrasing of “Shake me up/shake me down/shake me down/I’ll Be Around” plays, it will begin to dance in your mind long after the track swirls itself into the ether. The Growlers have been around and kicking ass for sometime now so I was excited to see their latest album, City Club possibily their best release yet, is produced by none other than Julian Casablancas (of The Strokes fame). You can’t have these new Growlers’ tracks sounding too polished and Casablancas doesn’t let that happen. Definitely listen to “I’ll Be Around” below or secure your own copy

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“I’ll Be Around” from the new album City Club.
Available September 30th, 2016 from Cult Records.

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Kings Of Leon  – Walls

Multi-platinum selling rock band Kings of Leon return with their hugely anticipated seventh studio album Walls. The Grammy Award winning group decided to return to their recording roots in Los Angeles and worked with famed producer Markus Dravs (Arcade Fire, Coldplay, Florence and the Machine). Lyrically, the album touches on band members’ personal stories.

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Public Access TV –  Rebounder EP

The debut four track EP from New York’s most hyped and most loved band Public Access TV. Limited to just 500 copies and exclusive from Rough Trade Shops. Stand out track is ‘Middle Child’ which opens with a drum beat which cheekily apes The Stone Roses’ ‘I Am The Resurrection’ before settling in a noisy garage punk groove with a pop edge. In under three minutes Public Access TV prove they are a band waiting to cross into the mainstream.

Crocodiles  –  Dreamless

Moving both geographically (from San Diego to Mexico City in the case of vocalist Brandon Welchez) and stylistically (eschewing the more post-punk tinged origins of yore for a broader sweep of sound) the electronically-augmented sound of this sixth album may still be rooted in the ’80s, but it’s more akin to New Order in its melancholia and bold primary colours. Nonetheless he glam-tinged exuberance of this duo may still be present even if the Bunnymen-esque raincoat-brigade guitars aren’t. Ironically enough given it was an album inspired by insomnia, ‘Dreamless’ sounds for all the world like a bold new dawn for the band.

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Jagwar Ma –  Every Now and Then

Since the release of 2013’s ‘Howlin’ Jagwar Ma have played sold out shows across the world and supported the likes of Tame Impala, The xx and Foals, filling festival tents and clubs alike with their explosive, hypnotic live performances, not to mention legendary DJ sets – most recently illustrated through their televised Park Stage performance at Glastonbury, and a raucous closing DJ set at the Crows Nest the same weekend. Now the song-writing duo of multi-instrumentalist and producer Jono Ma, singer and guitarist Gabriel Winterfield return with their second album ‘Every Now and Then’. The new record returns to the melody soaked nods to club culture and instantaneous vocal hooks they’ve become well known for, but has also seen them employ their passion for the Beastie Boys, citing this eclectic album as their ‘Paul’s Boutique’. Overall this stunning record encapsulates the band at their most entrancing and anthemic – a wig out of oscillating acid bassline, ricocheting dub-fused guitars and heady pop psychedelia bathed in strobe-lit sonics. It was self-produced and recorded in the United Kingdom, Australia and France, then tweaked and mixed with the assistance of some of their brightest contemporaries, James Ford (Florence and The Machine, Arctic Monkeys), Blue May (Kwes, Kindness), Ewan Pearson (LCD Soundsystem, Chemical Brothers) and David Wrench (Caribou, FKA Twigs, Glass Animals).

Big Star –  Complete Third

Omnivore does an in-depth vault dive into the creation of Big Star’s Third for a new 3-CD box set.  Complete Third includes every demo, rough mix, outtake, alternate take and final master from the Third sessions known to exist. The 69 tracks on this set represent the culmination of a decade-long search to assemble all extant recordings for the album originally released in 1978.  Some alternates and demos have appeared on various compilations over the years, but this first-of-its-kind collection presents every track in context – including 29 never-before-released tracks captured by producer Jim Dickinson and engineer John Fry.

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The Growlers – City Club

The Growlers are an American band formed in Southern California who’s sound has been described as a trademark style of music, effortlessly managing to combine eclectic elements of country, lo-fi punk, surf/psych/garage rock, Tex-Mex, and slacker/stoner/skate culture into something that is uniquely their own. Known for their relentless touring schedule and DIY work ethic, the band is one of the most exciting independent success stories of recent years. The band has toured with The Black Keyes, Dr. Dogg, Devendra Banhart, and Jonathan Richman, among others. The album is produced by Julian Casablancas the first he has produced).

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Gurr  –  In My Head

When two best friends start a band, songs get filled with inside jokes. In My Head takes the listener on a journey of Andreya Casablanca and Laura Lee’s friendship, their life, and a step further into the world of GURR. Having met in an American Studies class in Berlin, and after spending time in the US together, the US West coast sound was an obvious influence on their music, but Andreya and Laura draw from a wide set of pop culture references and personal experiences for their debut album. First Wave Gurrlcore they call their own genre, always with a slight and acknowledging nod to riot girl culture and yet stressing that they want to invent their own style – they pair straightforward garage rock tunes with more psychedelic and wave elements on their debut album. “We didn’t start making music because of Kathleen Hanna,” explains singer Andreya Casablanca. “Musically we were more influenced by bands like Gun Club, Echo & the Bunnymen, the B52s or classics like the Ramones and Beatles.”

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La Femme – Mystere

Direct from the Parisian overground, French pop connoisseurs La Femme will release their second album Mystère this week. La Femme have made a huge mark on modern Paris’s cultural landscape, by engraining in their music the two sides of the city : the glamour and the grit. Returning with a more psychedelic sound and numerous female guest vocalists that slice through the starkest of electro beats, La Femme celebrates their wonderful city and tackles the enigmatic questioning of falling in and out of love. Mystère is indeed a compendium of short stories describing loves and losses and each song breaks down language barriers through an inventive and astute knack for melody. The band’s chic retro-futurist surf-pop sound possesses the same dose of glamorous punk stomp as before, but this time around it’s layered with an elegant fusion of influences from Ennio Morricone, Marie Et Les Garcons’s disco-rock touch and the lysergic romanticism of The Velvet Underground. Through increased use of strings and further exploration of sound, Mystère also incorporates the band’s new love of oriental sounds, Turkish disco, Tuareg blues, medieval psychedelia to mainstays Brian Eno and Pink Floyd.

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Las Kellies  –  Friends And Lovers

Following the release of ‘Total Exposure’ the fiery Argentinian Riot grrl group Las Kellies return with new album ‘Friends & Lovers’. Inflected new wave post-punk blends garage-psych with infectiously deft dance beats and melodic pop. ‘Friends & Lovers’ fuzzed-up gems sees them move away from the heavier dub sounds of their last record instead sinking their teeth into a groove like Thee Oh Sees with the spirit of ESG and Delta 5. Rupturing with dance floor classics like ‘Sugar Beat’ and ‘I Don’t Care’, they effortlessly move into sun-soaked psych-pop tunes (‘Summer Breeze’, ‘Sun Goes Down’) with slow grooving honeyed tones, shimmering guitars and propulsive percussion. Produced by Iván Diaz Mathé (credits include Lee “Scratch” Perry & Mad Professor), who’s worked on their previous records.

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Josefin Ohrn + The Liberation –  Mirage

Having already been nominated for a Swedish Grammy with their debut EP, Diamond Waves, their full-length 2015 debut on Rocket Recordings, Horse Dance, marked out a territory in which beguiling repetition could sashay with sweet pop suss, melodic flourishes with experimental intensity, and it was summarily rapturously received on arrival, making new fans and earning them appearances at Roskilde Festival and Eindhoven Psych Lab. Their second effort Mirage, which follows a mere year after its predecessor, sees the band sculpting sprawling, hypnotic jams into elegant nocturnal serenades. “We agree on not remembering very much about how these tracks came about, that all of them were written on the road and that most of them came fully formed” note the band. “Most were really long to begin with, but we found it relieving to break away a bit from the mandatory psych jams a little bit. We also just realised that none of them were written in daylight, which might be why memory is so elusive.” Indeed, this hypnagogic approach seems to fit well with the primary inspiration for the five-piece, which centred on ‘the state where dreams, visions and the present are entwined’ .Mirage sees the band taking a chic tradition of avant-pop that extends all the way from Serge Gainsbourg and Françoise Hardy to Broadcast and Saint Etienne, and warping it mercilessly to their own darker ends. Whilst the brooding yet sultry ‘Sister Green Eyes’ is no less than a sharp slice of velveteen motorik-pop and ‘Looking For You’ reinvents three-chord garage-rock attack with mighty finesse, The Liberation are just as comfortable dealing out the heavy-lidded and electronically-driven ‘In Madrid’ or the dive in the hallucinatory deep end of ‘Circular Motion’, on which they’re aided and abetted by Lay Llamas’ Nicola Guinta. The seductive splendour of these ten songs åmake manifest a parallel world of disorientation and deliverance in which one would be a fool not to want to languish adrift . Fresh excitement for the band lies in wait, courtesy of a UK tour with Goat and an appearance at Liverpool International Festival Of Psychedelia. Limited holographic mirrorboard sleeves.

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Thurston Moore  -Chelsea’s Kiss

Cassette Store Day 2016 Release. 2 Tracks / 16 Minutes. Double sided printed extended j card.
Edition of 1000. Sonic Youth’s Thurston Moore and Brooklyn-based drummer Ryan Sawyer along with UK-based members of Thurston Moore Group: bass player Deb Googe (also of My Bloody Valentine) and guitarist James Sedwards (also of Nøught) met up in the studio to record these songs offered here to support the campaign to Free Chelsea Manning. Partial proceeds of the sales of this cassette will support the Chelsea Manning Support Network (chelseamanning.org), and will be earmarked for the defence of Army Pvt. Chelsea (formerly Bradley) Manning. Former Private Manning was sentenced to thirty years in military prison for sharing the video of a US helicopter attack that killed a dozen Iraqis, exposing US State Dept. cables, the “Iraq War Logs”, and the “Afghan War Diaries” with the WikiLeaks website.

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Josienne Clarke and Ben Walker – Overnight

British Folk duo Josienne Clarke and Ben Walker have risen to star status lately on the English acoustic scene, earning last year’s Best Duo award from the BBC Folk Awards and across-the- board praise for two self-released albums, most recently ‘Nothing Can Bring Back The Hour’, with its lush single ‘Silverline’. While The Guardian anointed them “chamber folk” (they certainly cut their teeth in that thriving part of the UK music scene), Clarke is an unusually compelling singer, sharing more in common with Sandy Denny, Gillian Welch, or even Nina Nastasia and Laura Marling, than your usual staid folk artist. Walker is a prodigiously talented guitarist and arranger and the two of them are engaging and often funny in a live setting where, in addition to their own songs, they choose covers brilliantly, from Denny, to Jackson C Frank, to Nina Simone, to death-obsessed traditional ballads. Clarke and Walker Rough Trade debut album brings bigger, more modern arrangements and production to their beautifully-wrought songs and Clarke’s tremendous voice.