The Growlers is a California based band which has been labeled as Beach Goth, a mixture basically of surf folkish upbeat rhythms and rich in reverb that obeys to the weird attitude and aesthetics of Brooks Nielsen, The Growler’s frontman.

Having already released a great amount of material since 2009 and established their own festival, they just recently dropped their fifth album “City Club” under Cult Records. The band has always had some strange relation with Julian Casablancas and that finally led to them having “City Club” produced by the Strokes frontman. That, in combination with the turn in style they had already taken since “Chinese Fountain” their previous album, made “City Club” so different in terms of both sound and style.
From the first track of the album already (City Club), the changes in the sound and beat are clearly distinct. The old reverb surf approach on their music is like a texture that has been pushed on the back and still remains there as a feeling. But now it’s being expressed with radical and heavy beats, very groovy bass lines and the same deep and depressed voice of Brooks Nielsen. The drum kick has a very nice punch, and is heavy and deep in a way that perfectly fits the rhythms of bass and synthesizers.

The next song on the album (I’ll Be Around) clearly reflects the most, their attempt to bond beach-goth and surf guitar tunes, with slow-tempo disco-beats and synths, and the blend of these elements sounds very sweet in my opinion. (Dope on a Rope) is one of their best tracks on this album, as it’s very groovy and upbeat in a way, with a great bass line and sound color that is very captivating. The guitars and synthesizers blend beautifully in a point that is hard to distinguish them and you listen to them as a whole. (World Unglued) is another great example on how the sound and style have changed, although the feeling remains the same. The guitars have that old Growlers sound and style but the way they are combined with the synthesizers gives the tracks a new texture. It differs the color that is used to express a certain feeling let’s say. Moreover it reflects how nicely the Julian’s Casablancas approach on sound and production met The Growlers’s music style and inspiration, leading to great and progressive result for both the band and the genre they represent.


I also loved the structure of the whole album as the tracks are placed in a sequence where the feelings you get are mixed varying from happy and groovy to dull and depressed from track to track. Towards the end they’ve place another one of their gems (Blood of a Mutt) a kind of slow blues song that hides in it all that classic nostalgic Growlers feeling, reminding the listener that their source of inspiration is still alive, distinct and powerful.
I would strongly recommend to anyone who hasn’t seen that band live not to waste any more time. They have great energy and they’re still driven from inspirational things and progression, and that is why they remain true to their style and strongly bonded to their audience.


City Club
(Cult Records, 2016)

-Genre: Beach Goth, Surf Rock, Psych Rock, Alternative
-Check Beach Goth festival 2016 for similar acts. Beach Goth as a genre is only descriptive (in terms of music style) for the Growlers.

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See their clips on their YouTube channel

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About The Author

Ioannis Patronas
Collaborator - RREVERB

Ioannis Patronas is a 24 year old UK based artist manager in the making, studying the music industry, artist management and promotion. He has been running his own company of live shows organizer and webzine editor since his early adulthood. He is fascinated by people who express their feelings through music. His true passion is trying to grasp these people's drive to be expressed, and understand it through their compositions.