On June 30, Howl n Bones celebrated the release of their debut album II. Not only was the launch met by the energetic crowd packed into the band room of the Ed Castle but also the support of three bands joining together to help mark the night. First up was The Straight Jacket Tailors, a band sharing some of the same roster of talent as Little Captain (previously reviewed and interviewed in Tulpa) who stormed the stage to set the tone of bold and powerful music. The night of festivities was continued by Victorian band, the self-proclaimed ‘stoner rockers’ Jack Harlon and the Dead Crows. The final set in preparation for the Howl n Bones main event was another South Australian product in Somnium.
The launch felt less like an album making its first tentative steps into the wide world and more like a full blown, confident takeover of the Ed Castle. The atmosphere was almost one of carnival celebration.
Starting at 9pm and going late in a test of the passion and determination of music lovers, the night was an unabashed celebration of music. Surprisingly, the crowd had not thinned much, or indeed at all noticeably by the time the headline act, Howl n Bones took the stage after midnight. It’s got to say something when the crowd can brave Adelaide’s bitter winter nights for hours of music.
Howl n Bones own album, II, is difficult to describe. One can choose the band’s own description of their work as being of the genre ‘scum funk’, a genre of their own creation but whether this goes anywhere in preparing the listener is another question altogether.
The collection of musical offerings were plenty. No-one could have gone home that night saying they had not been offered a generous helping. The event catered best for lovers of some of rock’s more unusual and experimental edges but was sure to offer something to the taste of most people. The relaxed atmosphere that saw the audience ebb and flow (but always come back for more) throughout the night and allowed the audience to mingle with the performers added to that full-to-bursting offering. As the performers of each band joined the audience to support and cheers the other acts, the entire three-plus hours of bold sound had the air of all joining in mutual support, and mutual celebration, of the roaring music scene.
The credit for the assembly of such a cavalcade of sound goes to the work of IMB Presents in whose stable of talent both Howl n Bones and The Straight Jacket Tailors can be found.
The night proved a banquet of many, many courses that could fill even the most music-hungry and allowed the audience to take as much they wanted.
Howl n Bones’s eight-track II has been released and coming in at a little under 40 minutes, is no small offering. After the powerful display of June 30 by all four bands, though, what else could be expected? With tracks such as I Get High and Stoned Horse, the band announced Jack Harlon and the Dead Crows were surely not the only band present with a claim to the ‘stoner rockers’ genre. These two tracks live up to their names and Howl n Bones’ own album cover art with its Lovecraftian horror-beast, certainly makes it clear to any prospective listener that the band is not aiming for some laid-back easy listening but rather something pushing the boundaries and attempting to explore the new and the strange.
II winds back the clock and takes cues from elements of music through the recent decades to form something of their own blended from the rich heritage of musical endeavours that boldly planted its flag on the reaches. After a listen to the album, it becomes clear why the band decided to name their own genre to work within.
Thanks to IMB Presents.
Artwork: Album cover.