Howlin’ Rain – Magnificent Fiend, SXSW 2008

by Woody on March 4, 2008

Howlin' Rain

A couple of months ago, Drinking Buddy referred to Matt Pond’s latest release as a turkey sub from Subway. Well in keeping with that spirit, Magnificent Fiend by Howlin’ Rain is a mile-high corned-beef on rye with cole slaw and mustard dripping from the sides. This release is a sprawling classic that revels in everything that was good about rock and roll from the 70’s. Songs bounce between unbridled jams and delicate interplay between guitar and organs. No gimmicks, no bullshit. Just good old fashioned rock and roll played about as well as it can possibly be played.

I couldn’t get enough of their debut two years ago and more or less strong-armed Oz into putting it in the top 25 of ’06. Admittedly there were parts of that disc that left me wanting more, but overall it was damn good. Well, my wanting is gone and I think the main reason is the introduction of the organ/keys by Joel Robinow. The organ gives their music a much fuller sound.

Their lead tune of the disc is “Dancers At The End of Time.” It begins with a minute and half jam that slowly evolves and builds until Ethan Miller delivers his first verse. And the song just boogies from there. Another favorite, “El Rey,” starts off with a slow jam that makes me want to lay my lady down next to the fireplace on a shag rug. Kinda sounds like Deep Purple covering a Curtis Mayfield tune.

So in case my enthusiam didn’t come through during the prior three paragraphs. Let me paraphrase for you. Get this disc.

Website | MySpace | Birdman Records

Howlin’ Rain – Dancers at the End of Time

Here’s Howlin’ Rain’s SXSW 2008 schedule:

Mar 13 2008 9:00P
Emo’s, Kork Showcase, SXSW Austin, Texas

Mar 14 2008 1:15P
Vice Party, SXSW

Mar 14 2008 5:00P
Kemado Party, SXSW

Mar 15 2008 2:00P
Mess with Texas day party, Waterloo Park

Mar 15 2008 11:15P
Birdman Showcase, Room 710

{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

oz March 4, 2008 at 5:56 pm

Couldn’t agree w/ you more. I love this album and it’s a huge step forward for the band. The bay area music scene is alive and well.

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