City Club // Cult Records
The Growlers’ fifth full-length album City Club is certainly a move away from the Californian psych fiend’s own genre dubbed Beach Goth. The band has been getting quite a bit of flack for straying away from their dark surf rock vibe with City Club. Yes, it seems like die-hard fans wanted another one of The Growlers’ psychedelic Tijuana-themed records like the 2013 Hung at Heart or 2014’s Chinese Fountain. Instead they got a ’70s garage funk inspired clutter. Maybe it’s Julian Casablanca’s (The Strokes) new wave/post-punk producing style that surrenders the band’s old surf essence. Either way, many of the songs get lost from the big choruses strangled by synth like in “I’ll Be Around,” and “Night Ride.” Gone are the days of songs like “Salt on a Slug,” and “One Million Lovers,” that made us fall in love with The Growlers years ago. That’s not to say to the album is all bad. There are many moments when The Growlers create something unique and groovy like on “Monotonia,” which is by far the coolest song on the album. It may only be coincidence that it sounds like their older stuff.