Tag Archives: Kyle Straka


The Growlers – Terminal 5 – May 20, 2017

May 22nd, 2017

Photos courtesy of Joe Papeo | www.irocktheshot.com


The Growlers’ Spring Tour Comes Through Terminal on Saturday

May 18th, 2017

Shake me up, shake me down: Try to define the Growlers’ sound and multiple genres will come to mind, which is exactly what makes them so special. Their sonic melting pot ranges from psychedelic rock to indie pop and from surf rock to beach Goth, all while Brooks Nielsen’s distinctive raspy voice croons about love, life and everyday hardships. Over the course of more than a decade, the Dana Point, Calif., band has released numerous well-received singles, EPs and albums, including last year’s City Club (stream it below), which AllMusic dubbed their “most immediate and accessible collection of songs to date.” Plus, they’ve toured with renowned acts like the Black Keys, Julian Casablancas and Devendra Banhart. The Growlers (above, doing “I’ll Be Around” live in studio for KEXP FM) have gone through a transformation with City Club—produced by Casablancas and Shawn Everett (best known for working with Alabama Shakes and Weezer)—making their sound more concise, with upbeat tempos and perhaps a dose of New York City attitude added to their sunny, laid-back California vibes. Now in fine mid-tour form, the Growlers play Terminal 5 on Saturday night. —Karen Silva | @ClassicKaren


The Growlers Bring Brand-New Tunes to Music Hall of Williamsburg

September 30th, 2016

The Growlers – Music Hall of Williamsburg – September 29, 2016

(Photo: Andie Diemer)

(Photo: Andie Diemer)

The Growlers hail from California, which is an important detail to remember because few bands nail the California sound, all of it, and all on their own terms. It’s like they took every genre the large, diverse state is known for and mashed it into one thing. Surf rock, psychedelia, sunny pop tunes, throw it all in a blender and what comes out? Beach Goth, if you were to ask the Growlers. It’s how they refer to their unique sound—they even host an annual festival by the same name.

But on Thursday, the Growlers’ conquests remained on the rainy East Coast, more specifically at the sold-out Music Hall of Williamsburg on the night before the release of their fifth full-length, City Club. They even came with a neon-glowing CITY CLUB sign onstage to mark the occasion. Donning some seriously stunning white Western suits with floral stitching, the Growlers ran through all the hits, and for a relatively young band, there’s a hell of a lot of songs the majority of the crowd knew most of the words to, following along to singer Brooks Nielsen’s signature nasally croon. He’s great fun to watch, if there’s such a thing as slow motion flailing, it’s his dance move of choice.

Contrasted to their older tunes, the latest material has a little more poppy sheen. “Night Ride” features an ironed-out, dance friendly groove. The equally dance friendly “Dull Boy” showcases a more lurching reggae groove, while the latest release’s title track has a polyrhythmic groove reminiscent of the Talking Heads. Simply put, there were grooves for all. The performance ended with “Going Gets Tough,” with its refrain of “Still always remembering/ When the going gets tough/ That the labor of our love/ Will reward us soon enough.” Nothing Goth-y about this sentiment, beach Goth-y maybe, but nonetheless a perfect send-off for the night. —Dan Rickershauser | @D4nRicks




The Growlers Play Music Hall of Williamsburg Tomorrow Night

October 10th, 2012

Brooks Nielsen (vocals), Anthony Braun Perry (bass), Scott Montoya (drums), Kyle Straka (keyboards, guitar) and Matt Taylor (lead guitar) formed the Growlers in 2006, playing their own version of slowed-down psychedelic surf pop. Their first two albums—2009’s Are You in or Are You Out? and 2010’s Hot Tropics—dealt with themes of death, but the Orange County, Calif., five-piece’s third LP, Hung at Heart, due out next month, is a less somber affair: “There is a lot of everything,” says Nielsen, “but definitely more happy songs and love songs.” The album was produced by Dan Auerbach in his Nashville studio. And the Growlers (above, doing “Acid Rain” for Dickies Sounds) play Music Hall of Williamsburg tomorrow night.