The Growlers – “Sea Lion Goth Blues”
The Growlers are a group of strapping young weirdos from Southern California. The band formed in Long Beach in 2006 and have since developed a fevered cult following with their endearing eccentricities. Their style is charmingly warped. A self-described “rock and pop group,” The Growlers‘ music sounds as though it was recorded on an old cassette tape that was coated with surf wax and then left on their dashboard all summer in the California sun.
Today’s featured track, “Sea Lion Goth Blues“, is off the band’s latest EP, Hot Tropics. While the band rolls on their trippy beach party, frontman Brooks Nielson sings about the anxieties of pondering one’s mortality. He sings, “I don’t know how many I have left, or how many I have right.” His clever wordplay and effortless melodies gives the music a mischievous swagger.
I wouldn’t call their sound a throwback to the 60′s, but the influence of old surf and garage rock is on display in their jangly guitars and percussive, tambourine-heavy rhythms. And we should fight the urge to pigeonhole The Growlers as a garage band due to their low-fi recordings and disheveled song arrangements. They create music that is silly yet dangerous and demented. Listening to their music, it is easy to imagine an old, wooden, beach-side roller coaster that rattles, moans and threatens to fall to pieces at any moment. But it is that same devil-may-care vibe that makes it one hell of a ride.