When Bologna Turns Into Steak

Indie? Grunge Pop? Surf Rock? Try and wrap your mind around the genre of the hard hitting album, “Hung at Heart,” by The Growlers.

Frontman Brooks Nielsen provides the raspy vocals for this incredibly heartfelt album. From the get-go, the song “Someday” starts off the album with shimmering guitar riffs and smooth bass lines. This first track is a love letter to a significant other, promising better days and better meals.

“When tall boys turn into champagne,” Nielsen sings as the song continues to foresee how he wants to provide a better life for his loved one.

As a whole, the album is a perfect cohesion of love and lust.

With the track “One Million Lovers,” it’s hard not to see why this burden of love hangs so heavy on the heart of Nielsen. The song describes a love that possibly was lost or maybe a love that can’t be let go. Lead guitarist, Matt Taylor, provides upbeat strumming patterns with glimmering tones that will leave  you “…dreaming of her the whole day though.”

It’s hard to find a favorite song on this album, but one track that attention should be brought to is “Pet Shop Eyes.”  Nielsen’s charismatic attitude comes through in this song, explaining how he’s not buying into another girl’s advances due to the sad and blasé way about her. He compliments her looks but tells her to move along, even joking that her sadness has him on the verge tears.

All in all, if you’re looking for chill album to throw on in the background of your next party or if you’re looking for an album to make you feel at ease with your own personal strife, “Hung at Heart” is what you’re going to want play all the way through. The band has made an album that is danceable yet introspective at the same time. Released in 2013, “Hung at Heart” is reminiscent of late ’70s surf rock and blues.

Featured Image: “Hung at Heart” cover art, all rights reserved to The Growlers

The Night Josh Tillman Came To San Diego

The opening act had just finished and now the crowd started to inch closer to the stage. Weyes Blood was the talented singer-songwriter who had to preface the night before none other than Father John Misty aka Josh Tillman.

Once the lights dimmed, the usual cheers were thrown at the stage as the band came out. And in his very own dramatic fashion, Father John stepped out. He opened with the title track of his newest album “Pure Comedy,” in which the lyrics speak of the trials of man and their inability to get things right in this troubled life. With lines such as “…Where did they find these goons to lead them? What makes these clowns they idolize so remarkable?…” Josh certainly wasn’t pulling any punches with the current issues plaguing our society.

After the first few songs and once the stage was clouded with fog, he continued to power through his songs. I turned to my friend to tell him that he was going through his setlist fairly quickly. I thought perhaps Josh had been going through some sort of sickness. Shortly after I made my observation, in his congested talking voice, Josh confirmed that he was “a brittle, sick and decrepit man,” telling us he was on medication but was still excited to be performing for us.

Towards the end of the set, Josh played one of his most popular songs “Hollywood Forever Cemetery Sings” from his debut album “Fear Fun.” Its instantly recognizable guitar introduction and drums got everyone in the theatre excited, as what most crowds do when hearing their favorite songs. Everyone immediately pulled out their phones.

“YEAH! PULL OUT YOUR PHONES! RECORD IT ON YOUR PHONES!” yelled Josh as he continued to play the intro for the song. It was an obvious jab at the crowd for only wanting to experience things through their phones. I had mine out. I’m not not about to document this great song. Josh even knows this is the song that put him on the map in the first place.

He ended the show with a song titled “Holy Sh*t” off of his sophmore album “I Love You, Honeybear.” He exited stage left. And that was it.

Thanks, Papa John.