San Diego’s The Howls have only been around for a few years, but their reputation already precedes them.
It only takes one listen to the band’s new album, Rocky Ground, to see why: The Howls’ sound is reminiscent of classic Wilco and Jayhawks, with some boozy old-school ‘Stones thrown in for kicks. It’s alt-country bliss.
The quartet will celebrate the completion of Rocky Ground at the Casbah on January 27. They’ll be supported by fellow SD roots rockers Jesse LaMonaca and the Dime Novels and Old Tiger, and rumor has it that Nickel Creek’s Sara Watkins will sit in for a few songs.
Last year, the band sent us a list of their influences; it’s one of the better ones we’ve received, so we’re re-posting it below.
Poetic Memory: The Howls
Yankee Hotel Foxtrot by Wilco: YHF is on a whole different level. The album conveys a type of emotion where it is kind of dark but doesn’t sound whiny. I feel like Wilco stepped out of their comfort zone on the record, and to have the album come out the way it did is incredible.
Heartbreaker by Ryan Adams: It’s rad when you can have an album where there is a steady mix of slower songs with songs like “Shakedown on 9th street” and “Come Pick Me Up,” where you get completely different vibes, but it still flows really well. You’ve got slow songs that wreck your soul, and songs that are just so dirty and jangly.
Kesha: We all have our guilty pleasures — let’s leave it at that.
Hank Williams: We probably shouldn’t have to say anything about this. Now this is just my opinion here, but I feel like he might very well be one of the most influential songwriters in the last 100 years.
21 Jump Street: I really discovered this show a couple months ago. Ever since then, I have aspired to transform myself into a mix between a blond Johnny Depp and Richard Greico.
Charles Bukowski: He writes in a way that makes you feel like you’re there. Kind of like your having a really weird night with someone you don’t really know. The other thing we love about Bukowski is the shock value. You don’t really expect the things that he says or does.
Tolstoy: His topic of writing and how he depicts it is timeless. The situations that he writes about are things that totally happen today. It’s kind of a rad way to look at music too. Good music should be the same thing as good literature. Timeless.
The afternoon bartender at The Saloon in Encinitas: His name is Tab, and he works the 10am-5pm shift at our favorite bar. So what if we hang out at bars when other people are at work?
Heavy Thrash Metal: Show me one person who didn’t enjoy the occasional metal song in high school, and I will show you a liar.
The San Diego Music Scene: Its rad being in a town where you get to go out and enjoy your neighbors playing music. It has been an honor to be able to play with and get to know bands like The Silent Comedy, Blackout Party, Smart Brothers and Dead Feather Moon. All those people are super rad and it’s awesome to live in the same town as them.