Record Review: Howlin’ Rain

Howlin’ Rain

The Russian Wilds

San Francisco, CA

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“Brooding, organic mix of nostalgic classic rock”

Utterly convincing in their message, Howlin’ Rain brings compelling energy in the rawest form, with simple, good-old fashioned rock, seemingly sent to us from the glory days. The Russian Wilds LP opens up with “Self Made Man,” a shimmering epic that dives into themes of self-reliance, exploration and re-discovery.

Like road trips to get away from it all, this record is perfectly designed for spur-of-the-moment decisions. Listen to “Can’t Satisfy Me Now” while packing your things and driving west to find a new perspective. A testament to classic rock nostalgia, the band fleshes out blues with a fever to dazzle their audiences. Howlin’ Rain is the new century’s answer to a strong cocktail of ’70s psychedelic rock, with a twist of lemon-brewed Zeppelin-esque hooks absorbed into CSNY vocal sweetness and Van Zant spontaneity. The soothing “Beneath Wild Wings” echoes with delightful vibraphones.

Shades of Hammond organs are fierce and explosive, adding a bona fide charm to a confident group. “Strange Thunder” paints a portrait of impressionist guitars, waves of percussion and golden vocals spilling out crystal clear at its crest. Cavernous and echo-enchanting, this track adds a sketch of dazzling poetic persona to the album, shedding deeper waters of creativity through the group’s production process.

Each tune is shaped with haunting, lyrical phrasing. The album triumphantly delivers angelic choruses that meld together a broad palate of instruments, nicely attuned in the final mastering. Throwing the needle down, one can feel at once its entrancing energy and delectable beauty.  (American Recordings)

Produced by Rick Rubin

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