Howlin’ Rain has always bathed in unapologetically retro rock waters, shooting for that laser-lit, big arena sound as they recall a bygone time when full-length album journeys mattered. Right from
(Photo Credit: Alissa Anderson) Last year Ethan Miller found himself in a dark place. For the last 14 years he had been working non-stop as a career musician, fronting Bay Area
Sometimes we all love a good no-brainer rock song to get us through our day. But then there always comes a time when too much rhythm partying starts to fray the stem cells and you find yourself craving Bob Dylan or Neil Young or Peter Gabriel; music that injects a few bars of powerade Einstein into those cavities in the brain. Since about 2006, the San Francisco band Howlin Rain has been feeding the hungry with an alternative intelligentsia to the souls weakened by Lady Gaga and Katy Perry.
On “Phantom In The Valley” lead singer/guitarist/song-writer Ethan Miller sings about “Dusty notes of music/at the far end of the world!” but you don’t need to travel all that way to find Howlin’ Rain’s inspiration. Just head into your parents basement and dust off the milk-crates that host your big brothers mid 70’s “classic” rock albums from a time gone by. This is a big meaty album, a return to arena rock pomp and excess; knowing that in advance will clue people into the pluses and minuses fairly early of Howlin’ Rain’s newest release The Russian Wilds.