Music: Hear Howlin Rain’s The Russian Wilds album in full
San Francisco’s Howlin Rain recently put out their third album The Russian Wilds – described by one reviewer as ‘a crash course in 70s album-oriented rock’.
Howlin Rain were formed in 2004 by guitarist/vocalist Ethan Miller. The aim was to have a more melodic offshoot of psych heroes Comets On Fire.
The band quickly got the attention of celebrated producer Rick Rubin. He helped to shape the songs that form The Russian Wilds.
However, Rubin himself didn’t work with the band – Miller, Isaiah Mitchell (guitar/vocals), Joel Robinow (keyboards), Cyrus Comiskey (bass) and Raj Ojha (drums) – in the studio. It was engineer Tim Green who took over that role.
Says Miller of the album: “There was a point when we were really trying to blend Jimi Hendrix’s Electric Ladyland, Steely Dan’s Gaucho and Bruce Springsteen’s Darkness On The Edge of Town.
“I love The Boss’ singing, where he’s just blowing out his voice, even when it’s just a pop-ballad moment. And we were inspired by some of the grooves and close-mic stuff on Gaucho, and by how Electric Ladyland runs the gamut from super-long jams to blues numbers to drifting psychedelic pieces.
“There’s a sense of audacity to these records – a band chasing down strong, invisible connections – and there’s moments like that on our record. We didn’t always do the smartest or safest things.”
Find out more at www.howlinrain.com