A new genre, Beach Goth, can be defined in the music of one band, The Growlers. How can you describe Beach Goth?… The band literally fucking sleeps curled up between the amps on the stage they play on. Their life consists of booze, late night jamming, and squatting in their abandoned warehouse in Costa Mesa, California.
For me, The Growlers are the most exciting band in rock music right now. The effortlessly cliché rock n’ roll lifestyle compliments their unique and powerful sound. The Growlers’ original garage rock, California psychedelic sound has helped create Beach Goth. The Growlers’ brand of Beach Goth draws influence from both traditional Goth bands like The Cure and California surf rock. The low-fi sound makes this music timeless, and breaks the stereotype of clean modern pop recordings. When a band’s sound creates a new genre, their lasting success is fairly imminent. Whether we are talking about Joy Division with Post Punk, or The Cure with Goth, bands that create genre’s are curiously original.
In 2016 The Growlers released their sixth studio album City Club. This release along with their 2014 effort, Chinese Fountain, launched The Growlers into the rock history books of the elegantly brilliant yet wasted. This elegance shines through in City Club, named for their favorite California bar haunt. The album was released and produced by Strokes front man Julian Casablancas. Although Casablancas is a talented and prolific songwriter, it would be unfair to attribute this LP’s success solely on his contribution. City Club’s raw grooves and crunch vocals makes this a real vibe album. Of course, hidden under the reverb of the guitar and the crack of the snare is the essential pop layout we all know and love. City Club is an accessible album while maintaining The Growlers’ punk attitude both lyrically and musically.
The Growlers are the definition of a hard working band. Their first four LP’s saw limited commercial success, which lead to a harder lifestyle for the band members that suck around. Founding members Brooks Nielsen, Matt Taykir and Kyle Straka have been playing music together for 11 years now, and their hard work has paid off. You can catch The Growlers now touring in venues with capacities averaging 3,000 people, with sold out shows. There is not a doubt in my mind that The Growlers are on their way to becoming an integral part of rock n’ roll history.
Here are three songs for getting into The Growlers:
“Good Advice” Chinese Fountain (2014)
“Going Gets Tough” Chinese Fountain (2014)
“City Club” City Club (2016)
Keep Calm and John Frusciante.
- Campbell Phelan