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Howling Bells

Howling Bells Audio CD
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (18 customer reviews)

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“I don’t think any successful struggle is a happy one,” says Howling Bells’ lead singer Juanita Stein, “and I truly believe that all really genuine and ambitious artists have got their struggles. The nature of art is challenging, and it’s always been challenging for us because we’ve always gone against the tide.”

After the release of their ... Read more in Amazon's Howling Bells Store

Visit Amazon's Howling Bells Store
for 7 albums, 3 photos, discussions, and more.

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Product details

  • Audio CD (1 Jan 2000)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Bella Union
  • Other Editions: MP3 Download
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (18 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 19,103 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars
4.3 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
21 of 23 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Haunting Beauty 8 Sep 2006
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
This is one of the wonderful creations that gently seeps into your consciousness without you really noticing it.

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.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Hell's Bells 29 Dec 2006
Format:Audio CD
This is a very confident, consistent debut. The female vocals (resembling an evil twin of The Sundays) and the great guitar work are picked out by some very slick production, creating a beguiling album, full of twists and dark corners.

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.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars HOWLING BELLS 27 May 2006
By Chas
Format:Audio CD
Howling Bells. This eponymous debut album is a cracker in my opinion. Superb musicianship, excellent vocals, and a set of very good songs. Nice guitar licks, and definitely spot-on hooks in the lyrics... most notably the chorus of Wishing Stone.

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!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars excellent debut 2 Jun 2006
Format:Audio CD
Agree with all the comparisons that other's have made and the Bells certainly have woven these into something of their own but surprised nobody yet has mentioned Throwing Muses! Really promising and moving stuff, look forward to whatever comes next
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9 of 12 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Moody, haunting and uplifting. 18 April 2006
Format:Audio CD
Continuing Australia's rich heritage of fascinations with gothic culture, Howling Bells make blissful music with a dark and seamy underbelly. Their self-titled debut - released by Bella Union and produced by Coldplay producer, Ken Nelson - is variably uplifting, moody and haunting.

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.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Great stuff 18 July 2007
Format:Audio CD
I have been listening to this for a while now and it really has gotten under my skin. 'Setting Sun' in particular is in heavy rotation and great for listening to in the car. I agree with others here: The Sundays and The Cocteau Twins popped into my head too which is certainly no insult. If you like tuneful, indie-pop with great jangly guitars and sweet vocals then give this a try.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Howling Bells 31 May 2006
Format:Audio CD
I really enjoyed this CD. It was something of a whirlwind romance with this band...I saw them supporting the Cooper Temple Clause, and bought a 7" of theirs at the gig. Rarely have a support band caught my attention like this. The songs stuck in my head so much I had to go out and buy this album, suffice to say I wasn't disappointed.

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!
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Haunting and Transcendant
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 more
Published on 21 Mar 2007 by mypenname?
3.0 out of 5 stars Ok I suppose
...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
Published on 21 Feb 2007 by Reuben Cool
4.0 out of 5 stars How many positive reviews will it take for you to buy this album?
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 more
Published on 13 Oct 2006 by Simon
4.0 out of 5 stars Very good album
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 more
Published on 29 Sep 2006 by R. J. Porter
3.0 out of 5 stars Dull after a few listens
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 more
Published on 9 Sep 2006 by super8J
4.0 out of 5 stars Listen again and again.
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 more
Published on 19 July 2006 by Piperboy
5.0 out of 5 stars What a debut!
This is such a wonderfully beautiful debut album. I first heard this album on the NME.COM website and wow am I glad that I clicked on the name! Read more
Published on 13 Jun 2006 by Stretti Man
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