Howlin Rain have announced a 28-date U.S. summer tour in support of their fifth album, 'The Alligator Bride,' due June 8 via Silver Current Records. The first leg—beginning in Joshua Tree, CA—blankets the West Coast throughout the month of June. Highlights include a performance at Huichica Music Festival in Sonoma Valley, six shows across California and tour closers at Mississippi Studios in Portland and Sunset Tavern in Seattle. In July, Howlin Rain kick off the tour's second leg on the East Coast, including shows at DC9 in Washington, DC, Johnny Brenda's in Philadelphia and two nights at Brooklyn Bowl where they'll be joined by Grateful Shred and Mapache. From there the band sweep through the Midwest with stops along the way at 7th Street Entry in Minneapolis, Beachland Tavern in Cleveland and Horseshoe Tavern in Toronto, among several others.
Howlin Rain have also unveiled "The Wild Boys" via an exclusive premiere at Relix Magazine. The sprawling, eight-minute, tour-de-force is the second single from 'The Alligator Bride.' It's now available at Spotify, AppleMusic, Amazon and all other music streaming services.
"'The Wild Boys' is my homage to the novel of the same name by William S. Burroughs," says Ethan Miller, Howlin Rain founding member and principle songwriter. "I took the setting from Mexico and touched it down in Riverside and San Bernardino County in the USA where plenty of sordid and fringe American scenarios could still play out unhindered by mall cops and border patrol—at least for the length of the song."
Indeed, Miller paints a vivid picture as he howls the refrain: "So long, old Corona, headed for the rat-house, headed for the hills, Ojos dulces and wild boys, falling out and falling off the edge of the world, rats crawling off the edge of the world, the cats follow off the edge of the world."
For 'The Alligator Bride,' Miller and company drew inspiration from classic rock formations such as The Grateful Dead's 'Europe '72,' Mountain Bus' 1974 burner 'Sundance,' and Free's masterpiece of atmospheric, minimalist blues, 1969's 'Fire and Water.' However, Ethan particularly attributes the magic captured across the album's seven tracks to the vibe of the Mansion studio in San Francisco; the same space that gave birth to modern garage-psych classics by Ty Segall, Thee Oh Sees and Mikal Cronin. Howlin Rain tracked the record there over three days, playing live to tape and cutting the material in first and second takes with engineer Eric "King Riff" Bauer. The result is a set of wide-eyed, ragged and unapologetic rock 'n' roll.
From the first notes of opening track "Rainbow Trout," Miller's guitar choogles out an inescapable riff, a sly reference to the sky spirits of Norman Greenbaum and ZZ Top. The riff unabashedly grounds 'The Alligator Bride' in the classics, but reaches for the stars. Daniel Cervantes' bottleneck slide guitar eases into place along with Miller's tuneful-yet-ravaged lead vocals, followed by Jeff McElroy's bass and Justin Smith's charging drums. Title track "Alligator Bride" soon crashes the gates like Crazy Horse in all their ragged glory, telling a carnivalesque tale of American splendor, a parade of creatures across time and space. Writing about the song, NPR Music raved: "Howlin Rain's music has never felt so anthemic." While final track "Coming Down" slow-burns its way through eight minutes of indestructible twin guitars, blazing to a heroic, acid-damaged finish.
Since their debut in 2006, Oakland, California's Howlin Rain have seen as many highs, lows, and wild adventures as any great American rock band. They've performed to worldwide audiences, enlisted a megastar producer and label, moved on from said megastar producer and label, and ultimately embraced a DIY spirit. The ensemble is led by singer/guitarist/lead howler Ethan Miller who at any given moment pivots between several projects, each a different facet of his sun-scorched California vision. From the pastoral psych jams of his celebrated Sub Pop band Heron Oblivion, to the scuzz punk freakouts of Feral Ohms, to the sprawling, analog ambience of The Odyssey Cult, to his various books of poetry, Miller cuts a renaissance figure in madman's garb, howling at the moon and cranking out handmade masterpieces. With his imprint, Silver Current Records, he carefully oversees all curation, recording, graphic design and distribution.
"We're in a vortex of futuristic events," ruminates Miller. "At this present moment, we can still remember the way the train whistle sounded in the middle of the night, rolling through the dark on the outskirts of town. An old America before we walked on the moon, before TV, cell phones, and the internet. 'The Alligator Bride' is about standing in the eye of that tornado of time—between the past and the present—in America." It's a fitting vision for the band: torn between eras, an epic perspective on what's come before and what lies ahead, woven into a cosmic tapestry of riffs, rhymes, and resonant frequencies.
June 2 - Joshua Tree, CA - Desert + Denim
June 5 - Long Beach, CA - Fingerprints Music ++
June 6 - San Diego, CA - The Casbah
June 7 - Costa Mesa, CA - The Wayfarer ++
June 8 - Los Angeles, CA - The Moroccon //
June 9 - Sonoma Valley, CA - Huichica Music Festival
June 10 - Tahoe, NV - Red Room / Crystal Bay Casino + Resort
June 12 - Salt Lake City, UT - Urban Lounge
June 13 - Boise, ID - Neurolux
June 15 - Portland, OR - Mississippi Studios
June 16 - Seattle, WA - Sunset Tavern
July 11 - Washington, DC - DC9 **
July 12 - Philadelphia, PA - Johnny Brendas **
July 13 - Brooklyn, NY - Brooklyn Bowl ^^
July 14 - Brooklyn, NY - Brooklyn Bowl ^^
July 15 - Columbus, OH - Ace Of Cups
July 17 - St. Louis, MO - Ready Room **
July 18 - Davenport, IA - Raccoon Motel **
July 19 - Minneapolis, MN - 7th Street Entry, **
July 20 - Milwaukee, WI- The Cooperage **
July 21 - Cleveland, OH - Beachland Tavern **
July 22 - Cincinnati, OH - MOTR Pub **
July 23 - Detroit, MI - El Club **
July 24 - Pittsburgh, PA - Club Cafe **
July 25 - Toronto, ON - Horseshoe Tavern **
July 26 - Northampton, MA - The Root Cellar **
July 27 - Jersey Hall, NJ - Monty Hall **
August 1 - Chico, CA - Naked Lounge
++ with Mapache
// with BRONCHO
** with Mountain Movers
^^ with Grateful Shred, Mapache