Howling Bells The Loudest Engine (Cooking Vinyl/Shock)
Juanita Stein has been called “the sexiest woman in rock”, and it’s arguably a title that could be bestowed on her without even looking at her (though in case you’re interested, she looks like a cross between Mila Kunis and PJ Harvey). What’s really sexy about Stein is her intimate voice, which can glide from soft and husky to let-loose loud, all while retaining a quality makes her sound as though she’s whispering in your ear.
The Loudest Engine is the third album from the Australian-formed, London-based four-piece. Retaining the eerie rock of their self-titled debut album and eschewing the electronic emphasis of previous album Radio Wars, Howling Bells have really hit their stride. Though they have a distinctive sound of their own, shades of Uh Huh Her, Fur Patrol, The Velvet Underground, Kate Bush and Queens of The Stone Age emerge from the band’s dark, mysterious and layered palette.
The Loudest Engine is also notable for being the first album produced by The Killers’ bass player Mark Stoermer, and he deserves top marks for delivering an album that is polished yet emotionally raw… and still retaining that Juanita Stein sex appeal.
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Strong, in depth and somewhat psychedelic third offer by this Australian-formed but London-based indie rock outfit , which they Recorded in Las Vegas with The Killers’ Mark Stoermer. Channeling some serious desert spirit, The Loudest Engine is forming a raw and pleasant mixture of Blues, Funk and Rock’n’Roll in twelve parts.
Howling Bells - The Loudest Engine - (Shock Records/Cooking Vinyl)
Howling Bells’ third album The Loudest Engine offers a plethora of psychedelic grunge rock sounds. Fritty and raw, this collection of songs grinds and tears at the threads of musical creativity. Intense right? Well, they are pretty talented. Prepare to be tripped out to the max when taking a listen to this album, as it certainly delves deep into a whole other musical genre.
Juanita Stein’s vocals, holding a similarity to Hope Sandoval of Mazzy Star, are simply transcendent. Opening track Charlatan is eerily brilliant, reminiscent of a modern day Beatles song. Yeah, I said it. Into The Sky explodes with velocity and gusto, while Secrets slows things down, with added male vocals creating a lovely dynamic. Thumping drums drives the track Loudest Engine and Invisible’s gritty tones and added breathing (yes, breathing) brings this excellent album to a close.
Having heard nothing but good things about Howling Bells, and now after listening to them strut their stuff, I have officially jumped on the bandwagon. If psychedelic indie rock is your thing, I invite you to jump on the bandwagon too.
Howling Bells. The Loudest Engine. Cv.[/center] For their third full-length album since forming in 2004, Sydneysiders Howling Bells ditch the indie-country Goth that got them noticed.
Juanita Stein's saccharine-soaked vocals still sit high in the mix, with brother Joel's chiming guitars layered underneath, but the distinctive feature of The Loudest Engine is its accessibility.
The Loudest Engine comes across initially as a loose jam polished into a set of songs. But that is temporary. Given time to breathe, Stein's seductive compositions, built on a bed of folk-psychedelia, begin to take hold. Some plodding fillers sully what would otherwise be a great album.
Single download: Charlatan For those who like: Julianna Hatfield, Mazzy Star, PJ Harvey, The Black Ryder
Терпеливые австралийцы Howling Bells, стартовавшие еще в 1999 году под вывеской Waikiki, даже получив доступ в европейский шоу-бизнес, все никак не могут остепениться и заматереть. За шесть лет посвящения в международный инди-рок им так и не удалось ни осесть на каком-то одном рекорд-лейбле, ни окончательно определиться с продюсером, ни выбрать студию, ни остановиться на каком-то определенном стиле.
Вечный поиск – прекрасное состояние для артиста, заставляющее его поддерживать себя в тонусе. Но есть подозрение, что участникам Howling Bells сам процесс перемен и экспериментов важнее любой формы оседлости, которая грозит им стагнацией.
Поиграв на предыдущем релизе "Radio Wars" с синтезаторами и драм-машиной и несколько расстроившись, что не все электронные чудеса поддаются ретрансляции со сцены, музыканты решили записывать в студии только то, что потом смогут в лучшем виде сыграть вживую. А это автоматически возвращало к звучанию дебюта "Howling Bells", гораздо менее рафинированного, чем второй альбом.
В этом "камбэке" команду сопровождал новоиспеченный продюсер Марк Стермер (Mark Stoermer), по жизни бас-гитарист The Killers, который разбавлял досуг музыкантов просмотром фильмов Хичкока, а основное рабочее время отдавал сессиям, проходившим на этот раз в Лас-Вегасе.
Специфическое киношное меню, новый продюсер и студия где-то в Неваде, американский пейзаж за окнами – все это не могло не отразиться на саунде альбома. Более "американский", чем оба его предшественника, "Loudest Engine" налегает, однако, не столько на экстравагантное кантри, сколько на умеренный фолк-рок, слегка разбавленный брутальной гаражной эстетикой или легкими дозами психоделии.
Пока чистенький голосок Хуаниты Стейн (Juanita Stein) лавирует между неким подобием Мадонны ("Into the Sky") и Кейт Буш ("Gold Suns, White Guns"), коллеги сопровождают ее звонкие вокализы незамысловатыми ритмами и необходимыми приметами гитарного рока. Все происходит настолько спокойно, размеренно и по-английски вежливо, что кажется, будто это еще не окончательная запись, а только репетиция, да и то не генеральная. Небольшой смурной омут психоделии ("Baby Blue"), попытка чеканных ритмов и интригующего вокала в духе вестерна ("Invisible"), смачные гитарные риффы в пижонистом заглавном треке "The Loudest Engine" – вот и все интересности, на которые отваживается команда.
Как пела Линда, "мало-мало-мало-мало огня". Мало темперамента в этой записи, не хватает ей резкости и глубины, не говоря уже о засилье размытых мелодий и сырых оркестровок. В них тоже есть свой шарм, но такой трудноуловимый, что как-то даже не интересно до него докапываться.
Patient Australians Howling Bells, which started back in 1999 under the guise of Waikiki, even gaining access to a European show business, everything can not possibly settle down and zamateret. In the six years of dedication to the international indie rock and they did not succeed in settling on any one record label, or finalize the producer or studio to choose, nor to dwell on any particular style.
Perpetual search - excellent condition for the artist, which forces it to maintain itself in good shape. But there is a suspicion that the members of Howling Bells the process of change and experimentation is more important than any form of settlement, which threatens them with stagnation.
After playing on the previous release, "Radio Wars" with synthesizers and a drum machine and a few frustrated that not all electronic wonders amenable to relay from the scene, the band decided to record in a studio just what then will be able to play at its best live. And it automatically returns to the sound of the debut "Howling Bells", a much less refined than the second album.
In this "comeback" is followed by a newly-producer Mark Stormer (Mark Stoermer), for the life bass guitarist The Killers, which is diluted with leisure music movies of Hitchcock, and the main working time devoted sessions, held this time in Las Vegas.
Cine specific menu, the new producer and a studio somewhere in Nevada, the American landscape through the windows - all this could not affect the sound of the album. More "American" than both its predecessor, "Loudest Engine" overlaps, however, not so much on extravagant country as a moderate folk-rock, slightly diluted brutal aesthetics of the garage or a light dose of psychedelia.
While the clean voice of Juanita Stein (Juanita Stein) maneuvers between something like a Madonna ("Into the Sky") and Kate Bush ("Gold Suns, White Guns"), accompanied by her colleagues voiced vocalize rhythms and straightforward guitar rock trappings necessary. Everything is so calm, measured and polite in English, it seems that this is not the final record, but only a rehearsal, and that is not general. A small pool of gloomy psychedelia ("Baby Blue"), an attempt stamped rhythms and intriguing vocals in the spirit of a Western ("Invisible"), savory guitar riffs in pizhonistom title track "The Loudest Engine" - that's all interesting, which dares to command.
As Linda sang, "little by little by little by little the fire." Few of temperament in this record, it lacks sharpness and depth, not to mention the dominance of fuzzy melodies and raw orchestrations. They also have their own charm, but a subtle, that somehow did not even interesting to dig it.
Howling Bells The Loudest Engine Cooking Vinyl (2011)
A difficult one to pigeon hole, this Australian formed, London based quartet comprising singer Juanita Stein, her brother Joel (lead guitar), drummer Glenn Moule and bassist Brendan Picchio.
The writing for Howling Bells, their band’s third album, was started while they were on the road supporting Coldplay on the third leg of their Viva La Vida North American tour. And they brought in bassist Mark Stoermer for his first production job having found common ground when supporting The Killers a few years back.
Described by Juanita as a psychedelic record, and one that is more folk and rock than their previous two releases the band made a decision to not record anything that they couldn't perform live. The result is a female fronted Americana version of The Coral, or a rockier The Concretes - an indie flavoured meandering melee. There’s even some Kate Bush like vocals thrown in for good measure.
But ultimately The Loudest Engine does come across as indie album, and while there’s plenty of melody and some lovely vocal and guitar work, at times it has a tendency to swirl around without any obvious direction. And apart from the more commercially accessible Charlatan, Don’t Run and The Faith, the absence of any clear candidates in terms of hit single / radio play material might just be its downfall. But the potential’s there for all to hear.
The Howling Bells - The Loudest Engine - Cooking Vinyl [/center] For reasons not totally inexplicable, the Howling Bells make you really long for bands like fatalistic goth sirens All About Eve to suddenly tour again. Their melodies are clearly a throwback to that era’s neo-romantic vocal tendencies, though with a modern guitar sensibility – if by the term "modern" you understand "early nineties UK indie". Such as it is, the Aussie outfit make a case for the return of "sensible" pop, especially on "Don’t Run" which ticks all the boxes that Crowded House mined extensively back in 1991. But the album as a whole feels slightly over-thought, as if the band weren’t too comfortable to let the songs just be themselves, and so dressed them up in contrived gothic-lite drama instead.
This latest offering from Howling Bells opens with Charlatan, featuring guitars with that distinctive hill-billy twang that makes you picture toothless men strumming wildly on a fretless neck. And then Juanita Stein’s smooth vocals show up and blow your initial country-stomp vibes out the water. The track then continues onwards in a delightful fashion; “you’re not a man, you’re a beautiful charlatan.”
Howling Bells are no doubt considered indie rock, but don’t let that confuse you. This isn’t twitchy or synthy – it’s extremely well-worked old-fashioned guitar-driven indie. Stein’s voice is a real winner and is complimented perfectly by the rest of the band; these aren’t enormous rock anthems, they’re a thinner intricate breed that can’t fail to impress. Gentle rhythms coupled with a scattering of intricate licks; it’s hard to fault a band when they don’t really do enough to possibly do anything wrong.
Besides the opener; my top picks would probably be The Wilderness for it’s sweet little riff, and Secrets for… everything. Imagine if the Kills weren’t so boring, yep, that’s it, you’ve got it.
London-based Aussie folk rockers Howling Bells wrote most of Engine, their third album, while on the road touring with the likes of The Killers and Coldplay. A neatly crafted work produced by The Killers’ bassist Mark Stoermer, Engine marries the sweet if somewhat forlorn vocal of Juanita Stein with the dirty guitars of her brother, Joel. Together they create a sound as perfect for some seedy (formerly smoky) underground bar as for the festival stage. Our favourite tracks are the country pop of “Don’t Run”, the grubby blues of “The Faith” and “Gold Suns, White Guns” with its Kate Bush-esque lament of “can you hear me spaceman”.