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Howling Bells Radio Wars Independiente
Article written by
Ged M - Feb 16, 2009
Howling Bells: Radio Wars
The sound of Howling Bells is epic and widescreen, perhaps reflecting an Australian sense of space and distance. ‘Let’s Be Kids’ and ‘Cities Burning Down’ are expansive soundtracks, Juanita Stern’s Debbie Harry-ish voice delivering the pop kiss while brother Joel is responsible for the vast chiming guitars. Even the balladry of the brass-kissed ‘How Long’ has an air-fisting hugeness. But where their Bella Union debut had a sense of humility and a touch of shoegazing, this goes all out for world domination. It sounds like the villain is Dan Grech-Marguerat (the Leni Reifenstahl of knob-twiddling), who has produced, polished and pro-tooled the record to unearthly dimensions. He’s especially overdone the drums until they’re an inhuman, repetitive beat in every song, any trace of human fallibility erased. It should present a sense of awe but the effect of the overproduction is aww...no!