It took Sydney natives [a]Howling Bells[/a] three years to follow their 2006 debut, a record that blew dust from retro rock and fitted right into the times. Maybe it was easier before pop reintroduced itself as the new rock’n’roll, but anyone hoping for a [a]Howling Bells[/a] comeback that vital should look elsewhere. If 2009’s ‘Radio Wars’ was patchy, ‘The Loudest Engine’ is thoroughly passé. Juanita Stein’s vocal – once as hot as her – is lost in reverb and bad lyrics, and the clichés are coated a stadium finish about as interesting as magnolia. In what might be a last hurrah, ‘The Loudest Engine’ punches for psychedelia and falls flat in a puddle of MOR. Hazel Sheffield
Watch the video for Howling Bells’ ‘Into The Sky’ below.