I'm excited by everything we've heard so far. The song that I like the least is still a great song.
The verses and chorus on Loudest Engine are freakin' unbelievable. This is darker and heavier than anything they've ever done before. Glenn and Brendan are carrying this one on their backs. Joel is really starting to let loose, and we've never seen Juanita like this. I'm really diggin' this one. Are you all hearin' this? Amazing song.
Praise for Sioux. The verse is just hauntingly beautiful, and the chorus is incredible. I don't think these people can't not create a fantastic melody.
Uknown song at Dailymotion. Wish the audio was better. Takin' us to space here. Sounds awesome.
It's a great name - it's reminding me of something Mark Stoermer i think said of Howling Bells in some interview back when they toured together; he said they're like this massive steam engine. Love to find the youtube of it, it was this wonderful, colourful depiction, but honestly I can't...
It was actually Ronnie Vannucci (The Killers' drummer) who said it, if it's the same thing I'm thinking of. I've just checked it now on dvd to see what he said:
"I'd describe the Howling Bells like a, like a, like an antique train, like an old train. They got a lotta steam left in 'em and they leave a big smoke trail when they go past."
It's from the Channel 4 "4Play" documentary from 2007, and is on the "Low Happening" CD single (2007 release) as an mpg file. It's also in that "TV appearances" thing I uploaded the other week in the "Waikiki Complicated Video" thread.
How do you all like the title track, The Loudest Engine, so far? I think it sounds great and it's a helluva force. I don't know if Mark Stoermer or Robert Root is responsible for the channel shifting during Joel's solo, but each shift comes at the perfect spot.
Meh call me an audiophile or something but I'm holding out on those vids & waiting til I hear it on the album... Was thoroughly impressed with what I saw at Scala - I think my reaction to their new stuff on the whole was 'they went exactly where I wanted them to go' but I can't define what I meant by that yet.
It's completely brilliant. Luvving Juanita's vocals on this and the extensive solo from Joel - got to be some of their best work respectively. I like how it feels both retrospective and modern in style. Love how the guitars are sounding kinda like QOTSA (who I listen to a whole lot) - think somebody mentioned that about Invisible already... There's a not-too-abstract-or-obscure point to the lyrics which is a good thing imo. On the whole I think there's more underlying power and warmth to their sound now. Gladly there's still an intensity in listening that keeps it at 'spirit strength' as with their earlier stuff.
On an aside I think the intro sounds like Queen's We Will Rock You to the point where I think I may have started singing a verse back when I first heard it.
I see they've put a comment on there which kinda makes it look genuine:
"We wrote this song about the soul of the tour bus. A wise ol’ beast, she sees all, hears all, knows a million and one stories. And when you're spending as much time as we do in a vehicle, lying there at night contemplating a million different things, you develop a relationship with the space. The lyrics came about as a poem one night when I couldn’t sleep, the sound of the engine kept me awake: “I spend my days on the loudest engine of all, a think tank, your road priest, she’s everyone’s favourite whore”.”
Funny how Howling Bells can sing about a tour bus and make it sound deep, dark and tragic to me whilst The Vines could sing about the saddest things and all I see is sunshine & smiles...
The Loudest Engine feels like the ideal name & title track for this album seen they've mentioned songs were written on the road or about being on the road.
I found this a few minutes ago so had to get it up here asap. It's a document on Cooking Vinyl headed paper and it's a track-by-track listing of what's on the album, with comments from Juanita, Joel and Brendan.
Here's the link - it only gives you the option to open or save. If you get asked for a password click OK or cancel. It's a Microsoft Word document.
HOWLING BELLS THE LOUDEST ENGINE (COOKCD546) TRACK BY TRACK
1/ CHARLATAN "The dirtiest, bluesiest song on the record. Its about a certain type of character you meet often in life. They're the sort of dishonest, immoral person who, if they could, would actually steal the light from the sun. We've encountered some pretty questionable characters throughout the bands life and you cant help but really ponder what makes them the way they are"
2/ INTO THE SKY "A lovers lament. I was dreading having to see someone off on a long trip and right before, he said, 'I'm going on a plane, I'm going away - channel whatever it is you're feeling into a song and play it to me when I land.' And so I did. It all poured out in but five minutes. It's about missing someone desperately, but still needing to grow personally."
3/ THE WILDERNESS "Joel and I wrote this song on the tour bus, while we were touring with Coldplay in America, we stopped and recorded the demo in a studio in Rochester, New York. It was where Jeff Buckley rehearsed for his Grace tour, so again, cool vibes. It's about insomnia. The line "she's watching me like a hawk, the wilderness has me tonight" is personifying sleeplessness. A restless beast. So the track is about learning to succumb to the madness that envelopes you when lying awake for hours on end.
4/ SECRETS JOEL: "Give me 'all' of you so I can see, "I don't want pieces, "I want to see and feel you naked, "Body and mind pressed up against me. "Dont hide, "i want to see all of you so we can become one."
5/ DON'T RUN JOEL: "This is about someone who is afraid to fall in deep and allow their fears to take them over, blinding them from a beautiful reality. This person always runs from what they love. They know, deep inside themselves, that they blame the other person, knowing that it's their own fear that drives them-self away.
6/ THE FAITH "This is, as the title suggest, about maintaining your faith through all adversity. As a band, we've been through a lot together. It feels like we're been tested constantly, on so many levels. Personally and professionally. And I know we all feel tried and tested at times, this song is a small beacon of hope about the idea that love has the ability to illuminate ones strength. At the end of the day, nothing restores one faith like that of a pure love. A love from, or for, anything real.
7/ LIVE ON "One of the more upbeat tracks on the record, both sonically and emotionally. The song deals with finding the spirit to live through a broken heart, finding a way to get through the difficult times like break ups and distances and breakdowns in communications, which if you're in a band, touring constantly, you become quite accustomed to. Sadly, the life of a traveling musician does challenge even the greatest of relationships."
8/ THE LOUDEST ENGINE "We wrote this song about the soul of the tour bus. A wise ol’ beast, she sees all, hears all, knows a million and one stories. And when you're spending as much time as we do in a vehicle, lying there at night contemplating a million different things, you develop a relationship with the space. The lyrics came about as a poem one night when I couldn’t sleep as the sound of the engine kept me awake: “I spend my days on the loudest engine of all, a think tank, your road priest, she’s everyone’s favourite whore”.”
9/ GOLD SUNS, WHITE GUNS "I wrote this song about meeting the love of my life. The lyrics are embracing that feeling of being completely in awe of someone. To be challenged and enlightened by them on a daily basis."
10/ SIOUX JOEL: I met a man in Nashville, "He was sitting alone on a building ledge watching the sun set, "I sat next to him and we got talking, "He told me that he's been jumping trains for years, "I asked him where he was going and he replied, 'Anywhere', "We spoke for hours trading stories, "He told me that he's been drifting for a very long time, "I didn't ask why, "He didn't know of an end, "He smelt of trains and lack of sleep, "His name was Sioux…"
11/ BABY BLUE BRENDAN: "This is a pet name between two lovers. The girl trying to get over her last relationship and the boy is trying to win her love. The distance that separates them is tangible."
12/ INVISIBLE "This is a cool track, it encapsulates the experience of being in the desert. The landscape really affected the music and it seeps through in this song especially. It's about keeping true to oneself…."we cant all dance this way", it's reaffirming for me to believe this. In a whirlpool of identical shapes and frequencies, its crucial that we find a space to just be ourselves.
Picked up The Loudest Engine for free off their website to be. Getting to know it better & bowled over by how completely brilliant it is; if I play it once on my commute then truly my head'll swim with it all day...