March 12, 2012
Howlin Rain - 'The Russian Wilds'
A curious hybrid that gets lost in strange metaphorsMore on Various Artists
4 / 10 With ace producer Rick Rubin on their side, Howlin Rain could – and should – have made an entirely different record. Instead, ‘The Russian Wilds’ is a curious hybrid, channelling both Bruce Springsteen’s ‘Darkness On The Edge Of Town’ and Hendrix’s ‘Electric Ladyland’ into proper classic rock (‘Cherokee Werewolf’) moments, but elsewhere sounding a bit elevator music (‘Beneath Wild Wings’). Though Ethan Miller’s vocals are impeccable, they get lost in strange metaphors (“I staggered like a crow into the Empire”) and an excess of ideas – ‘Phantom In The Valley’ runs for close to eight minutes, taking in The Animals and merengue along the way.
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