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Howlin Rain


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One of the keepers of modern-day psychedelic music doles out distinct styles to no fewer than five projects: There's the cavernous rawk of Comets on Fire (forever on hiatus), the Summer of Love re-imagined as Heron Oblivion, the punk-scuzz of Feral Ohms and the Beat poet solo guitar-noise of The Odyssey Cult.
But Howlin Rain has always been the flyaway of Ethan Miller's wild hair.
Howlin Rain was originally formed as the melodic antidote to Comets, a place for Miller to write sangin' songs. Its discography has run the gamut from burned-out psych to bucking country-rock to folk ballads to the big-budget-blues-rock of the Rick Rubin era, which let Miller quit his day job for a few years. Point is, for an artist who regularly flies off on weird tangents, his outlet for straight-ahead rock music has often been his most unpredictable.
"Alligator Bride" is Howlin Rain in full-on Crazy Horse mode, as big guitar chords are lashed with feedback. The band's new album, The Alligator Bride, features bassist Jeff McElroy, guitarist Dan Cervantes and drummer Justin Smith; their chemistry seems loose and ragged, like an American flag weathered from too many storms. That's a natural state of mind for Miller, but Howlin Rain's music has never felt so anthemic. ~ Lars Gotrich, NPR


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