The Growlers grace Turner Hall


Photo by Kirsten Schmitt

As part of their Beach Goth tour, The Growlers incorporate a surf- like rock music into their play at Turner Hall on Sept. 29.

The drums and electric dreamy hypnotics of “Babe Rainbow” and funky-sexy, kick dancing of “Disco,” DJ Johnny Basil put a fragrance on the crowd with grooviness as openers for The Growlers, who played Turner Hall Sept. 29.

The forever-hit wonders easily drew a diversely attired crowd, ages 16-AARP, every creed and color. Known for nailing jams in hands with the lyrics of “In Between,” they performed many of their magical melodies such as “Black Memories.” Their harmonies gave truth with the heartfelt words to perhaps every thought that ever escaped any person who ever lived betwixt worlds in the city, or have lost their mind in a dead-end town. With the barnacle beats of a slanty-eyed-shanty, these striking artists came with the raw strain honesty of Janis Joplin, the mystery of Jim Morrison and the heed spiritual warning of Bob Marley. 

Brooks Nielsen, already legendary lead singer, vocally can be compared to none. His voice alone is the stand-strong instrument, like high moon shining over every tune they birthed since last we heard from lone-range rebels such as Bob Dylan or Willie Nelson. The fact that he is visually splendid didn’t stop his body from his traditional stage rock-a-bye-ing, entrancing the on-looking admirers with stupefaction.

The Growler style they proudly dub Beach Goth is a sound perhaps pulled from the bottom of a ‘shroom-laced goblet discovered first years ago by a thrice reincarnated, unknown musical genius, way ahead of their time, Cali-garage band from the ‘60s. Getting us through life, and giving us an hour and a half show, they have the Beach Boys affect, and once you hear one anthem, you thoroughly must hear the rest for future sing-a-long worthiness.

The north, south, east, west direction coming from track to track was equivalent to channel surfing, drawing interest at every healthy ear wave. For instance, “Tell It How It Is” is a hum-ditty-do about an unaccepted soul journey, while “Gay Thoughts” is an unforgettable jingle-jangle about one’s self debate on same-sex-uality and the disturbance yet peace in it. 

Toward the bittersweet end, not wanting to let go of the “bring together” power they possessed us then left us with, we demanded them back out to give up the goods with their bidding fortune cookies, such as “Chinese Fountain.”

Some may say a growler is a container to gripe over what is a true beers worth for take away, but to be in their presence was like witnessing something really cool happening in music. You had to be there to believe it, and growl for one more for the road when it was truly over. Aargh!