Hailing from Nashville, TN, Howling Giant aren’t your typical good ole’ Southern boys. Instead, singing about the cosmic spaceways, rogue A.I. and numerous other curious occult things, this band is trippy. The good kinda trippy, taking you outta the funk of the everyday rat race for something celestial. It’s like Mastodon meets Rush meets psychedelic groove rock and the results are pretty damn spectacular.
Howling Giant’s 3rd EP Black Hole Space Wizard Pt 2 continues the stellar journey crafted in the band’s second EP; not just more of the same, not some stale rehashing, but good rock that’s equal parts kick back and chill as it is jump the fuck up and rage. This is basically the Captain America: Winter Soldier of EPs where the sequel not only highlights what you loved about the material in the first place, but takes it to the next level completely. Not only that, but considering the band has stated this is only the second installment of a rock opera-esque trilogy, one can only be left with anxious anticipation to see how they intend to top themselves once this act is complete.
On the album itself, while at first the opening track “Henry Tate” may seem a bit slow paced, the gradual build up of the bass and drums accompanied by some noise rock/solo inspired space riffage is a treat to the ears. The second track “Pioneer” also starts off on sort of a stoner rock vibe, subtle in places but dynamic when needed and all of it full of delicious garage rock inspired fuzz distorted riffs. “Pioneer” is also the first step into the album shifting gears, maintaining it’s chilled back vibe at times while increasingly throwing in adrenaline spiking moments. This trend is carried on by the third track “Visions”, in particular it’s “bringing it back” outro riffing that goes from a suave cantina vibe back into fist pumping mode, paired with some particularly catchy vocals – it’s a no-brainer for a winning combo. “Circle of Druids” is arguably the most fire track on the whole EP, the simple but powerfully charismatic line “You must ascend!” is sung with the perfect mix of moxie and harmony. The guitars, drums, and bass are equally as explosive as the chorus bangs and there’s no denying these guys have crafted something special here. The closing tune “Earth Wizard” is appropriately titled; kicking off with some grass roots style garage influenced rock only to evolve into something more, with strong guitars leading the charge and strong vocals right behind them, “Earth Wizard” is essentially a huge blend of everything that makes this EP solid.
Howling Giant flexes some creative and charismatic muscle here, defying genre norms and crafting a sound that no one can call anything but original. They throw down across all six tracks in a manner that says “if you want this goodness, you’ll have to come to us. Accept no substitutes ya dig?” Having just dropped August 25th, there’s still ample time to get your hipster on and snatch up this album to show your homies “psssssh ya’ll sleep on what’s really hood right now”. Howling Giant lands solidly on the side of what dope shit can happen when you step outside the box, not to mention this album is but 1/3 of a rockin magnum opus, you’d be doing yourself a favor to cop parts one and two then kick back and await the final act.
4.The Forest Speaks
5.Circle of Druids
Tom Polzine – Guitar/Vocals
Roger Marks – Bass/Vocals
Zach Wheeler – Drums/Vocals
Drew Harakal – Guest Organ/Synths
Kim Wheeler – Baritone Saxophone
Written by Ken Kaiser for Bloodrock Media on September 18, 2017