Album Reviews

The Growlers – Chinese Fountain (Everloving Records)

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The Growlers Chinese FountainEight years and five records in, The Growlers may have their greatest achievement yet.

The down and dirty stoner beach rock sound that The Growlers are known for has been refined and polished for this release, yet the band have somehow avoided losing their grit. For example, while this entire record has a smoothed, blazed cool about it, it also sounds like something one might hear late at night in a smoky beachside bar. This mixture of moods might be best heard on “Black Memories,” where the lightly reverbed guitar and vocals echo both a relaxed sunny afternoon as well as a rum-fueled confrontation at a small lounge.

The entire band is in top form here, often sounding like The Ventures and Real Estate jamming together whilst passing a giant blunt around. However, the real standout feature out of this record would be the vocals.

The voice of the lead singer, Brooks Nielsen, is rich and suave while often relaxed and subtle. Surprisingly, even though Nielsen’s voice on this record is one of pure coolness, it also contains a slight hint of sadness. This twinge of sorrow lends really well with the words of songs like “Going Gets Tuff.”

Through their use of emotionally charged lyrics along with dazed rhythms and tight musicianship, there has never been a better time to pick up on The Growlers.

– Keith Hadad

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