Monday, August 26, 2013

The Howling Tongues Press A Debut

The Howling Tongues preproduction
After putting out the hit EP Keep The Dust Down last year, the Howling Tongues (formerly The Revels) has followed up their good fortune with a self-released, self-titled debut album that the band hopes will propel them along.

They succeed for the most part, hitting the right notes to make their uncompromised brand of rock 'n roll sound cleaner and crisper. Some people might find it a bit bothersome in that many of the tracks lack a pronounced bass like the EP and too much dirt has been removed to make this album a classic.

But when you factor in that his band had the foresight to produce their own album at the Sound Emporium in Nashville, it quickly becomes clear this 5-piece deserves some credit. There are plenty of high points on this album. 

The Howling Tongues add Southern flair to rock 'n roll. 

The Howling Tongues celebrate two years together in August, but they sound like they've played together for years. Originally consisting of guitarist Nick Magliochetti, vocalist Taylor Harlow, and drummer Tylor James, it was the addition of bassist Zach Smith and keyboardist Thomas Wainwright that established the sound they're known for today. They call it “no regret rock 'n roll.”

While it took another year of live shows and two EPs to perfect it, the Howling Tongues feel confident in the product put together with the help of producers Stan Lynch and Billy Chapin. This time around, the band couldn't rely on computers. Everything was recorded straight to tape.

"We instantly knew that something great would come from working with Stan and Billy,” said Magliochetti. "However, none of us expected to be this blown away by the end result."

The underlying track to their album teaser is Gotta Be A Man, the lead-off track to their new album. It's a spirited, tough talking Southern track in the vein of veteran rock. The entire goal of the track was to lay something down that could get people on their feet.

From there, the album takes a dramatic down tempo turn, showcasing Harlow's ability to set a different mood with his smoky and slowly drawn vocals. Anyone who loves the Black Crowes will immediately have cause to contemplate the similarities. It isn't the only song that inspires comparison.

Other standout tracks include Strange Way To Say Goodbye, Another Heart To Bleed, and What's It Going To Take. All three present a more contemplative side of the group, painting them as a 5-piece brooder rock band with plenty of vocal depth and instrumental finesse.

The Howling Tongues
Outside of those tracks, Too Many Times is a risky but well-appreciated departure from the band's sound as they try on some country rock. While the track isn't necessarily dynamic enough to close out the album the way many people would like, it does prove that the Howling Tongues have greater depth than either of their previous EPs suggested.

In many ways, that is what you can expect from their self-titled debut overall. The Howling Tongues are dead set on showcasing their diverse talent, even at the expense of a riveting rock direction that seemed to be set on Keep The Dust Down. The new direction is still good, but not nearly as moving or convincing as the six tracks that preceded it.

The Howling Tongues Wag At 4.6 On The Liquid Hip Richter Scale. 

As an album, the the Howling Tongues' self-titled debut is well worth a listen. There is no question that their brand of rock is cool. At the same time, with the exception of those standouts mentioned, it sounds best when added to their existing set list as opposed to a standalone.

You can catch the Howling Tongues debut on Amazon or download the album from iTunes. To keep up with the band as they begin to book shows and tour dates, follow them on Facebook. For anyone hoping to pick up a vinyl edition, visit the band's website. They pressed 1,000 vinyl records (gold).
blog comments powered by Disqus