Howlin Rain - The Russian Wilds(2012)[EAC,log,cue. FLAC]

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01. Self Made Man	8:01	
02. Phantom In the Valley	7:17	
03. Can't Satisfy Me Now	6:19	
04. Cherokee Werewolf	5:27	
05. Strange Thunder	8:54	
06. Plex Reception	0:37	
07. Dark Side	5:18	
08. Beneath Wild Wings	4:17 
09. Collage	5:02	
10. Walking Through Stone	6:53	
11. ...Still Walking, Still Stone 3:10

Four years ago, after his sophomore record with Howlin Rain was released, bandleader Ethan Miller approached his mentor — Rick Rubin, who had signed him to American Recordings — with a question: When and how should he begin work on its followup? Studio vet Rubin didn’t pull any punches. "He said, "Start writing songs now, and I don't want to hear the next two good songs. I want to hear your next 40"," recalls Oakland-based, retro-minded Miller. The singer-guitarist did just that for nearly two years, at last satisfying his boss with the bluesy new 'The Russian Wilds', featuring spectral perambulators such as "Cherokee Werewolf" and "Phantom In the Valley".

One of the first things you'll notice about "The Russian Wilds" is the song lengths; five of the 11 songs are over six minutes in length. Howlin Rain have borrowed more than just the simple "sound" of 70′s rock – they’ve studied its structure. These songs may be long, but they don’t drag. Not by any stretch of the imagination. Every song has been painstakingly crafted and intricately assembled down to the tiniest detail; every lick, harmony and drum flare is there for a reason, and it really does help every song reach its full potential. This is a rock album that makes a great use of its entire runtime. "Phantom In the Valley", is the song that drives home the bands inspired and tight musicianship. About four minutes into the infectious rock anthem, I noticed the track had three minutes left. I thought this was odd, as the song by that point had apparently achieved everything it had set out to do; then came the drop. The song launches into a salsa-inspired build, complete with excellent horn-work and fantastic, heavy percussion. Before this the song was infectious, but here it becomes downright possessive.

And really, if there were a single word I’d use to describe the record, that would be it. Each song calls out for you to sing along, to air guitar, to invest yourself in it – it’s a possession that you absolutely enjoy. It’s something that so many bands strive for, but Howlin Rain make it seem effortless!

Every song on the album all have something going for them. The songs that initially rubbed me the wrong way eventually blossomed into something fantastic, and even the song I found the weakest on the record stands out and leaves a distinct impression. The truth is, with 'The Russian Wilds', Howlin Rain really did just bring their all to every song. From the wistful flow and rolling escalation of "Strange Thunder" to the infinitely enjoyable titular lyric of "Dark Side"” to the two distinct halves of the the split-song finale, "Walking Through Stone" and "...Still Walking, Still Stone", to the wonderful backing vocals and bouncing bass line on "Cherokee Werewolf", this is a masterpiece!
01 - Self Made Man.flac 61.461 MB
02 - Phantom In the Valley.flac 58.239 MB
03 - Can't Satisfy Me Now.flac 48.606 MB
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