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4.2 out of 5 stars
The Loudest Engine
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 26 October 2011
Howling Bells has been my favorite aussie band for years. Now they got a little competition from bands like Tame Impala or Deep Sea Arcade, but the fact is: I will always have their debut album as one of my favorite records. The main reason for this is because they were different, their songs could take you to a different, odd-somehow-confortable place. Their songs were great and not very much of alike to the current scene back in 2006. It was good, different.
The second album came and I've learnt recently, for my surprise, that people didn't like it and it was kind of a let down. I didn't share that opinion at the time, and I liked the songs (most of them). But today is clear for me that I, myself did not enjoyed it too much, specially if you consider how many times I have listened to it compared to the first album. I even forgot to "wait for the next album"...
But then 2011 arrive and they get back with this wonderful piece! I absolutely loved it. It reminds me of their debut, different places, peculiar moods, delicious vocals... but there are new elements to this too. Now they are living in London for a while so it had influenced them, their songs are a mix of desert landscapes with some cosmopolitan clouds on it.
All the 12 songs are great, and if this was a vinyl, I'd say the side B is my favorite. And if there is any flaw with the album is that some of the songs could be longer... yes, longer.
Do yourself a favor and BUY this record NOW! And if anyone in the band read this, PLEASE come to Brazil!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 1 November 2011
I'd ignore the BBC reviewer above as he is way off here.
Yes their first album was really rather exceptional (after I got over my initial flashback to aspects of Throwing Muses) and I must admit i was less taken with the second but this third effort is cracking.
It has charm, humour and lovely guitar work. There is also a certain amount of freedom to explore and Juanita Stein's voice is really rather blossoming with great self harmonisation and slanted delivery which draws in your ear. A couple of tracks see some near duet delivery with i assume) her brother guitarist - very slight shades of The Magic Numbers pop feel to these.
Overall, much of their original stealth and singular energy has been alloyed with greater musicianship and elegance. I'd be very keen to hear much of this live as their debut at latitude was a fantastic sunset experience.
For the unfamiliar, Into The Sun is a great launching point with near absurd squealing guitars and great percussive gusto.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 8 January 2012
This is a surprisingly good album. That it is to say, I'm always surprised at how good the album is when I listen to it, but also how little I think to listen to it. Maybe it is because there are no outstanding tracks, like Setting Sun from the first album. Or I bought The Duke Spirit's Bruiser at the same time which is similar but better. However, if you enjoyed the first album I think that you'll like this as it is different enough without being too different - less folky and more rocky. If you are new to Howling Bells I would buy the first album first, though. Best track is Don't Run.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 21 September 2011
When comparing the Howling Bells of the present day to their original form, Waikiki, it is clear to me that they have developed a great deal. They have always been talented and have managed to retain their own distinct sound, but with this album, the Howling Bells have demonstrated that, as a group, they have matured nicely.

They have always been good - I'll admit that I was initially skeptical as to whether an album of the quality of their previous release, Radio Wars, could be surpassed - however, The Loudest Engine simply blew me away. Juanita's vocals are enchanting, and the musical arrangements utterly transporting. The tracks fit together seamlessly, their lyrics drawing in the listener until it becomes one of those albums that you find yourself playing again and again.

This album is fantastic, and I am astonished by how naturally a band that was already so good have taken the next step towards becoming great.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 29 January 2013
Nothing will beat their debut for me, but I preferred this to Radio Wars, which had some horrible songs on it. This is a bit more consistent. Sioux, Into the Sky, and Baby Blue immediately stood out for me, and showed their trademark melodic and rythmic fluidity, mixing rock and hints of blues. The album is perhaps a bit impersonal though, aside from Don't Run and Secrets, both of which are not particularly strong. I didn't get the sense of anything overly personal, which would perhaps suit a band like this. Overall though I have some new favourites, and look forward to the next one.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 25 October 2011
Enjoyed this immensely. The band are maturing nicely, although, please come back to the UK! Much better than their tribute band, Florence and the Machine.
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on 20 September 2014
Love this album, hope they release some more material...
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on 27 January 2015
fast del perfect thanks
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1 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on 14 February 2012
This is a noisy, boring mess. The first album was great; the second (Radio Wars) was good with moments of great; this one is on my charity-shop pile. What a disappointment. I'll give them one more chance to find their form before I give up on them.
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