Hailing, probably literally, from the beautiful Isle of Lewis The Howling Lords are a heavy, riff based trio who formed in 2015 and have already racked up an eponymous album and an EP in 2016. They now have the second album on release called Texas Medicine. The three guys, Eoghainn Lapsley (pronounced, I think, Owen) on drums, Jens Johansen on bass, and Felix Saunders doing vocals and guitar, call on the echoes of Sabbath and a heavied up Groundhogs but with a bit of Black Keys in there to bring a more recent feel to their overall sound. The new album has ten songs that tend toward the short and sweet with only one track over four minutes… but listening to the lead off track, ‘Looking At Me’ that doesn’t matter as they fit in a terrific heavy bluesy riff with solid vocals and backline, although a bit of restraint on the crash cymbal would have improved it for me… still a damn good song with lovely bass throughout.
‘Black Dog’, not that one, continues the CCR on steroids feel but some QOTSA mixed in, with a phased vocal and a bass and drum backing that adds even more weight to the riff and the short guitar solo is simple but effective. ‘Talk Like That’ has a touch of Technical Ecstasy Sabbath to the riff but the ‘wah’d’ solo takes it into a land of its own. ‘Green Dress’ lasts less than two minutes but packs a lot into it, including a neat slide solo. Final, and longest track, ‘God On The Stairs’, is an absolute belter with its strummed intro building, via some crafted slide, into a fuzzed up blues song of quality.
The band has managed, somehow, to sound like an early 70’s psyche-rock outfit but with a modern edge and I would put them next to Admiral Sir Cloudsley Shovel as they both make this combination work so well. (That is a big compliment incidentally, as the Shovels are brilliant). I really enjoyed this album, even if it clocks in at only 34 minutes… but that’s the average for vinyl, so not a criticism. I would love to hear some of the songs extended by the inclusion of a few more solos (including that great sounding bass) but taking it as it is, this is worth seeking out if you like heavy psychedelic rock with a huge chunk of blues mixed in.