- Audio CD (1 Jan. 2000)
- Number of Discs: 1
- Label: Bella Union
- ASIN: B000EWAXOC
- Other Editions: MP3 Download
- Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars See all reviews (19 customer reviews)
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 84,458 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)
|Price:||£12.98 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over £20. Details|
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HOWLING BELLS Howling Bells (2006 UK 12-track PICTURE CD album - their debut album produced by renowned Coldplay producer Ken Nelson and is an intoxicating collection of killer tracks; lurching from addictive blues-fuelled rock to country-folk lamentations. Includes the singles Wishing Stone & Blessed Night digipak picture sleeve BELLACD114)
Top Customer Reviews
I was drawn in initially by the sweeping chorus of Setting Sun, which is a real spine tingler. When you realise that this doesn't appear til track 9 (of 12) it gives a fair indication of the quality that precedes it (and what follows too).
The range of possible influences is wide: The Go-Betweens, Throwing Muses, Sundays, PJ Harvey, Yeah Yeah Yeahs have all been previously (understandably) mentioned, but I can also hear the likes of the Rain Parade, All About Eve, The Bad Seeds and even the Cocteau Twins (some of the etherial guitar lines) in there. It's an intoxicating mix with a degree of a throwback to the 80's goth scene, mixed with a little folk, country and some wonderfully infectious and atmospheric chorus lines.
It's fair to say that it's unlikely to leap out and grab you completely on the first listen. I'm on about the tenth now and it's really starting to blow me away.
If you've heard (and liked), Setting Sun, Broken Bones or Wishing Stone on MTV2 or such, then I'd thoroughly recommend the rest. Persevere, it's a very rewarding listen.
I agree with the comment from Piperboy that "Velvet Girl" should be later on in the track listing, but even so, it's a very good debut. "Setting Sun", "The Night Is Young" and "Low Happening" are standout tracks and this would have been my favourite debut of the year if some lads from Sheffield hadn't gone and brought out a blinding LP.
Sometimes Juanita sounds reminiscent of Grace Slick, sometimes a touch Sonja Kristina-ish, sometimes the band makes me think 'Fairport Convention' no matter, she has one helluva good voice, which can swing from the husky, breathy style to gentle melody and raw power.
This CD has really grabbed me, nicely written tunes - but sadly I don't see any of them charting as singles, they're just too good for the 'Top 40'. The album does however deserve to do well in the Albums Chart.
~~~~~ 'nuff said, I think!
Opener, The Bell Hit is a gentle indication of the pacific melancholia that follows, and is followed by Velvet Girl, a slightly woozy and casually unsettling pop song, which recalls the inert psychedelia of Sister Lovers-era Big Star.
At the forefront of these opening tracks, and the remainder of the album, are Juanita Stein's astonishing vocals. Comparisons with PJ Harvey, while lazy, aren't too far wide of the mark. Her lilting swoon glides and swoops over almost the entire album, but on Broken Bones, she raises the pitch and completely lets loose. While the track is a somewhat traditional tale of a broken heart ("broken bones may hurt / but a broken heart will never mend."), Stein delivers the words with such power and such conviction that you look past the lyrical shortcomings; it's a trick that Stein repeats on Low Happening, the track with the album's outstanding chorus. As if to prove her versatility, Stein turns down the volume and raises the tenderness on A Ballad For The Bleeding Hearts, a glowing country song.
From the brooding Setting Sun to the almost whimsical, The Night Is Young, Howling Bells offer a stunningly dazed rock n' roll that fans of My Bloody Valentine and Mazzy Star would be well advised to check out at the closest opportunity.
I agree with some of the other reviewers, that PJ Harvey comparisons are lazy, but somewhat apt. Cat Power would also be a name to mention as comparable. As always though, the CD is worth more than the sum of it's comparisons and influences.
The music is windswept and dense, with excellent playing from all musicians, and a great singer. Her voice is clear, and soulful and there is no hint of their Australian-ness in the songs. The standout track for me is Low Happening followed closely by Wishing Stone.
Great packaging too!
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Hello sah! I first heard of the band from a local news rag at my public transport orifce and I thought I'd check them out. Push me in the mud and roll me over. They are brilliant. Read morePublished on 21 Mar. 2007 by mypenname?
...but it could have been so much more!
The potential was there, a very 'now' sounding single (Low Happening) to coincide with the likes of Metric, Be your own Pet, YYYs... Read more
This is a very good album from the Howling Bells, who have a good future if they continue to produce music of this quality. Read morePublished on 13 Oct. 2006 by Simon
The first I heard of Howling Bells was on an NME CD that consisted of the best new bands at the Leeds/Reading festivals. Read morePublished on 29 Sept. 2006 by R. J. Porter
The comparisons go on... I think the voice is a mix between Harriet Wheeler (The Sundays) and Nina Persson (The Cardigans). No way should PJ Harvey be brought into this! Read morePublished on 9 Sept. 2006 by super8J
Do not leave this album alone, if you don't like it on the first listen, then listen to it again and then again, all of a sudden it will be the only album you will want to listen... Read morePublished on 19 July 2006 by Piperboy