King Howl embarks on a mesmerizing sonic odyssey with their latest album, “Homecoming,” released by Electric Valley Records. In this captivating musical endeavor, the band masterfully blends elements of blues, stoner rock, psychedelia, and classic rock to create a vivid soundscape that transports listeners to the heart of a 1960s American road trip. “Homecoming” represents a significant evolution in King Howl’s signature sound, as they weave together new compositional and sonic influences while staying true to their roots.
The album opens with “The Rooster,” an electrifying blues-infused track that serves as a gateway into the band’s narrative-driven journey. With gritty guitars and soulful vocals, King Howl immediately sets the stage for the protagonist’s escape from a rural setting. The energy continues to soar with “From the Cradle,” a rock ‘n’ roll anthem that captures the rebellious spirit of the era.
As the journey unfolds, “The Train” chugs along, propelled by hypnotic rhythms and a psychedelic atmosphere that immerses the listener in the protagonist’s on-the-road experience. “John Henry Days” takes a mesmerizing turn with its nineties-inspired spoken-word passages, adding a touch of introspection and poetic lyricism to the album’s sonic palette.
“Motorsound” pays homage to classic rock influences, channeling the vibrations of a powerful truck engine. The track’s infectious grooves and hard-hitting riffs create a sense of momentum and freedom. “Slowly Coming Down” takes a darker turn, infusing elements of doom and psychedelia, evoking a foreboding atmosphere that adds depth and complexity to the album’s sonic narrative.
“Homecoming” explores a range of musical influences, with “Tempted” seamlessly blending country blues and stoner rock, showcasing the band’s versatility in merging genres. “Jupiter,” inspired by James Anderson’s novel “The Never-Open Desert Diner,” ventures into desertic landscapes, channeling a sense of vastness and introspection.
At the heart of the album lies “The Great Blue Heron,” a powerful composition symbolizing the theme of travel and change. Driven by the haunting sound of the Hammond organ, this track exudes a granitic quality, leaving an indelible mark on the listener’s senses. The band pays homage to the Rolling Stones with their rendition of the sixties classic “Gimme Shelter,” infusing it with their own unique energy and style.
“Home” concludes the album, serving as an anguished yet hopeful homecoming. It encapsulates the overarching themes of growth, redemption, and rebirth that resonate throughout the album. King Howl’s ability to craft an epic musical journey is truly commendable, with each track seamlessly flowing into the next, creating a cohesive and immersive experience for the listener.
The production of “Homecoming” further enhances the album’s organic and analog sound, thanks to the use of vintage gear and the meticulous attention to detail in the recording process. The collaboration between Roberto Macis, Willy Cuccu, Nene Baratto, and Richard Behrens at Big Snuff Studio in Berlin brings out the best in King Howl’s sonic vision, capturing the raw energy and depth of their performances.
“Homecoming” by King Howl is a remarkable testament to the band’s growth and artistic prowess. With their masterful fusion of genres, captivating storytelling, and impeccable musicianship, King Howl has created a captivating album that takes listeners on an unforgettable musical journey. It solidifies their place among the notable acts in the psychedelic blues stoner rock scene and leaves audiences eagerly anticipating their next endeavor.
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Released by Electric Valley Records on June 9, 2023
Music source for review – Bandcamp