The Growlers – Hung at Heart (album) (FatCat Records)
Hailing from beautiful Dana Point, CA The Growlers formed back in 2006 with a lifestyle that blends surfing and experimentation, both in music and road dog life. Sharing a warehouse right by Newport Beach, in between surfing, putting on bands and throwing parties, their shambolic sound and weirdo showmanship naturally took shape. The band quickly earned a reputation for wild live shows and with that, a loyal following.
Following the release of their debut album ‘Are You In or Out’ in 2009 and 2010’s ‘Hot Tropics’, the band’s new 15-song opus is another warped collection of sun-drenched, 60’s influenced psychedelic folk and lo-fi-garage-rock numbers. Think White Fence mixed with Black Lips, and a less in-your-face version, less-rocky version of Ty Segall with a dash of The Flaming Lips and you’re well on target. The musical quirks are perfectly matched by the distinctive, raspy and nasally vocals of Brooks Nielson.
Undeniably Californian, where countless bands today have incorporated 50’s and 60’s melodies and psychedelic inflections into their tunes, The Growlers are the real deal. Opening track “Someday” is the perfect pop tune from yesteryear with the charm and melody of The Chiffons “One Fine Day”.
The midpaced “Naked Kids” follows next and features some cutesy and quirky organ melodies coupled with some tasty 60’s surf-garage-rock leads courtesy of guitarist Matt Taylor. On “One Million Lovers” The Growlers sound like Bob Dylan doing garage with Nielson even adopting a Dylan-esque drawl. Another example of the band’s ability to write solid tunes where guitar lines intertwine and a groovy bass line of Scott Montoya dances up and down the fret board.
The brilliant “Salt on a Slug”, with its quirky 60’s surf rock tinged garage rock, would be right at home in a Tarantino movie. “Living In A Memory” is a country-folk number that conjures images of campfires in the wild west. Meanwhile the calypso melodies and lo-fi sounds of “Pet Shop Eyes” may just appeal to fans of The Vaccines and Palma Violets. The summer-soaked, up-tempo “Burden of the Captain” continues with good vibes fit for Beach Blanket Bingo.
“It’s No Use” sounds like a carnival bizarre, like something you might hear in The Mighty Boosh. “Use Me For Your Eggs” is similarly strange, however “Beach Rats”, an album highlight, restores the band’s knack for crafting brilliant quirky pop.
Can’t fault this one – ‘Hung At Heart’ is a gem. Make this your soundtrack for summer.
‘Hung At Heart’ was released in the U.S. on 22 January, 2013 through Everloving and is available via Amazon. The album is being released in the UK / EU on 26 March, 2013 through FatCat Records. (Pre)Order ‘Hung at Heart’ by The Growlers via the FatCat Records store.
FatCat Records are currently offering a free download of the song “Someday”. Download below:
Watch the video for “Someday” below: