Seeing The Growlers for my third time, I didn’t know what to expect for this show, and this new album. My usual experience of seeing them live was high energy shows, songs from their albums Hung at Heart and Chinese Fountain, and funky dance moves from the lead singer, Brooks Nielsen. This time, the performance had a different atmosphere. The two musicians who worked with Nielsen on other albums such as Chinese Fountain, Scott Montoya and Anthony Perry, left the band before making it on tour. (Although Perry may return in the future)
And the different thing about the performance for me was The Growlers’ new album City Club. While the album has the same catchy guitar riffs, scratchy vocals from the lead vocalist Brooks Nielsen, and a fun/upbeat danceable quality, it’s a different sound than I’m used to. In a way, it was strange for me to see one of my favorite bands with with a “surf-rock” instrumentation, to give the essence of a pop-garage rock and 80s infusion. They did play songs such as Someday, One Million Lovers, Pet Shop Eyes, and Chinese Fountain. And In this way, they satisfied my nostalgia for an older sound. But now that I reflect, why should they have to? The Growlers are evolving as a band, and along with their new production with Julian Casablancas under Cult Records, their “genre” is completely evolving as well. While they still have the same goals and down home energy they had for their first three albums, their sound is a bit crisper now, more fine tuned, and has an upbeat production that is less “surf rock” and more inclusive of an eclectic mix of genres. (Including more beat production done on the computer, which Brooks will talk about later in our interview)
I’m all for nostalgia. To a point where sometimes I only talk about that one band’s “first album”. However, I realize that with some bands, the new evolution of genre needs to happen, and for The Growlers, it shows maturity, smooth production, and a completely new way of looking at what has been coined, “Beach Goth”.
Some amazing songs you can check out off their new album, ones that they also played at The Catalyst last week, include City Club, I’ll Be Around, and Night Ride.
Really, you can here more about the important stuff from Brooks Nielsen himself, who I had the chance to interview along with Parker Kaye, and Becca Mu. Me (Sydney Fishman) and Parker Kaye produced and conducted the interview.
The amazing photos of their tour of City Club at The Catalyst, are done by Parker Kaye and Becca Mu.
Here is the link to the interview. Cheers!