There’s a certain unpolished, heartfelt, and loud-as-hell aesthetic one has to have to play garage rock. It’s one of the most flexible styles of music on the planet, at least that’s the conclusion one comes to when listening to LA-based band The Growlers.
Together for almost 15 years, The Growlers are still finding variations on the formula. With singer Brooks Nielsen’s endearingly broken-hearted vocals out in front of Matt Taylor’s wiry guitar and well-chosen chords, there doesn’t seem to be anything they can’t throw into the mix. The psychedelia in their early work is one thing; there were plenty of bands from the late ’60s who melded unearthy harmonies and odd production choices to garage rock, but The Growlers’ most recent turn has been to synths and dance music as displayed on 2016 album ‘City Club’, produced by The Strokes’ Julian Casablancas, and damned if it still doesn’t work well. Their quality control is also through the roof; in 2018, the band released Casual Acquaintances, a collection of outtakes and B-sides from City Club sessions, and pretty much every song could have ended up on their album proper.