Amazingly enough, this band had completely passed off my radar until a few months ago when I listened a track of them, specifically “Wild Life” , and since then , you know, maintaining a degree of curiosity, I start to dig about them and played over and over. So, I have the pleasure of introduce other wearethelastbeatniks favorite , California-based psych-rockers Howlin Rain .
Its leader, Ethan Miller , has been a fixture on the San Francisco psych-rock scene for years . So, Howlin Rain had its origins on 2004 in the ashes of the underground site where him , hitherto vocalist of noise-rock Comets On Fire, decided to tackle the more melodic side of his compositions and express so the great musical influence that American West Coast had in its creation. Soon after the dissolution of his former group, Miller in 2006, released the self titled debut of his newest project.
Early records were heady garage-psych records, but much to the surprise of many, the band dropped in thank of producer Rick Rubin and his American Records, although their debut for this label, 2008’s Magnificent Fiend , is not terribly different from their previous releases.
The production of their new album, which lasted nearly four years to complete, became a personal journey for Ethan Miller. The guy, main songwriter and “soul” behind anything that involves the group, even stated in interviews have become “obsessed” with the completion of this work, seeing the process as a kind of “badge of honor” for his career.
After they left the road in 2009, the formation of that tour disbanded, leaving only him and Joel Robinow, so they had to practically build a new group which it is always a complicated process. They took that time to make sure that they would have the right guys. And only then begin rehearsals of what would be a new job.
As you will found below, this wasn’t a bad thing, so the finished product was an album that outshines and stands out as the band’s most polished, most produced album to date, one that replaces psychedelic for classic as the adjective to describe this real rock album.
You can see several references to bands of the 60 – 70’s, with the falsetto to the whaling screams that ooze the vocal styles of days gone by. but the only accurate touch only you will see is from Ethan Miller , not compare to anything else , listen it, if only to find out what a band this original sounds like.
I hope they get some more music out a little bit quicker next time, and keep on the road, just doin’ their thing.
Howlin Rain – Howlin Rain
Released:23 May 2006
Artwork – Arik Moonhawk Roper
Bass, Banjo, Vocals – Ian Gradek
Drums, Percussion, Vocals – John Moloney
Mastered By – John Golden
Producer, Engineer – Tim Green
Producer, Music By – Howlin Rain
Vocals, Acoustic Guitar, Guitar [Electric], Piano, Synthesizer, Lyrics By – Ethan Miller
Recorded in San Francisco in 2005.
1 Death Prayer In Heaven’s Orchard
2 Calling Lightening With A Scythe
3 Roll On The Rusted Days
4 The Hanging Heart
5 Show Business
6 Indians, Whores And Spanish Men Of God
7 In Sand And Dirt
8 The Firing Of The Midnight Rain
Howlin Rain – Wild Life
Label:Three Lobed Recordings
Series:Oscillation III –
Format:CD, Limited Edition
Released:03 Mar 2008
Bass – Ian Gradek
Drums – Utrillo Kushner
Electric Piano [Wurlitzer], Keyboards [Nord] – Joel Robinow
Engineer – Colin Gradek
Guitar – Ben Chasny
Guitar, Vocals – Ethan Miller
Layout [Packaging Layout] – Nate Rulli
Mastered By – Patrick Klem
Mixed By – Colin Gradek, Ethan Miller
Painting [Painting’s On Front & Back Cover: Cow Head’s] – Raeni Miller
Part of the Oscillation III Subscription Series.
Limited Edition of 550 Copies.
Both of these tracks were recorded and mixed at Different Fur Studios in 2007.
“Wild Life” is an improvised meditation on Paul McCartney’s original song.
1 Wild Life
2 Black Sangria
2 Dancers At The End Of Time
3 Calling Lightning Pt2
4 Lord Have Mercy
6 El Rey
7 Goodbye Ruby
Howlin Rain – Good Life
Label:American Recordings – 200 RPM 500
Format:CD, Single, Promo
1 Good Life
2 Burning Of The Midnight Lamp
3 Hung Out In The Rain
Howlin Rain – The Russian Wilds
Format: 2 × Vinyl, LP, Album, Etched
Artwork – Arik Moonhawk Roper
Backing Vocals – Mandy Green, Susan Appe
Bass – Cyrus Comiskey
Drums, Percussion – Raj Ojha
Executive-producer – Rick Rubin
Guitar, Vocals – Isaiah Mitchell
Lead Vocals, Guitar – Ethan Miller
Lyrics By – Ethan Miller, Joseph Walsh* (tracks: , Patrick Cullie (tracks:
Producer – Howlin Rain
Producer, Engineer, Mixed By – Tim Green
Saxophone – Matt Waters
Trombone – Scott Knippelmeir
Trumpet, Flugelhorn – Erik Jekabson
Vocals, Keyboards, Guitar – Joel Robinow
Written-By – Howlin’ Rain
Written-By, Arranged By – Eli Eckert
Recorded at Louder, Fantasy and Trilogy Studios in 2010/2011
3-sided double album, side D contains Etching by Arik Roper.
1 Self Made Man
2 Phantom Of The Valley
3 Can’t Satisfy Me Now
4 Cherokee Werewolf
5 Strange Thunder
6 Plex Reception
7 Dark Side
8 Beneath Wild Wings
10 Walking Through Stone
11 …Still Walking, Still Stone