The Growlers live in Sydney


The Growlers performed at Oxford Art Factory in Sydney as part of their Australian tour. Carol Bowditch checked them out:

With several 60’s revival psychedelic rock records under their respective belts, the five-piece Cali act – who coined the genre for their sounds as ‘Beach Goth’ – had myself and several hundred others at the sold-out gig excited to hear new jams from their forthcoming record, Guilded Pleasures.

Having had several re-vamps in their lineup throughout their musical career, the irreplaceable Brooks Nielson (who we recently interviewed) remains the strength behind the act’s deeply sexual, nostalgic appeal. He could have performed solo and still would have drawn the crowd that came to the OAF that night. With that stoned swagger, that handsome allure, and that effortless smokey voice, it was definitely The Brooks Nielson Show.

Moving away from Brooks briefly, I think the musical appeal of The Growlers rests on their ability to regenerate a sound that would have been fitting for enthusiasts of surf rock in 1960, or even a decade ago. Their lyrics are playful descriptions of ambiguous unrestrained sexuality, facets of love and infidelity, life reflection, etc. It’s relatable and you can shake your body like a 60’s go-go dancer to it – winner!

Anyway, the highlights of the gig were the tracks that have been exhausted through play on my generic music device since their release Hung at Heart. Notably, the lazy One Million Lovers, and Someday had me feeling romantic as I was sandwiched between ample, sweaty, paisley-clad bodies. The sea-shanty number, Empty Bones was ace too, as was (keeping with the nautical vibe) Sea Lion Goth Blues.

Post-gig I wondered how our Australian beaches compared to the fare that The Growlers’ are used to? Perhaps we will see more of the Cali boys on stage on this side of the world post-release of their LP, Guilded Pleasures? At Splendour in The Grass? At the various Summer music festivals? A gal can dream.

The Growlers live review by Carol Bowditch. Like this? Then check out our interview with the band here.