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Howling Bells

Rate It! Avg: 4.5 (36 ratings)

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Howling Bells album cover
The Bell Hit
Velvet Girl
Low Happening
Broken Bones
Wishing Stone
A Ballad For The Bleeding Hearts
The Night Is Young
Across The Avenue
Setting Sun
Blessed Night
In The Woods
I'm Not Afraid
Album Information

Total Tracks: 12   Total Length: 42:19

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Wondering Sound

Review 0

Andrew Perry


Howling Bells, Howling Bells
2006 | Label: Bella Union / V2 Records

This is the curse of the female vocalist: endless comparisons to Polly Harvey, Siouxsie Sioux, Kate Bush and Hope Sandoval. Undeniably, though, there are echoes of all these in the astonishingly clear, dextrous tones of Juanita Stein, who fronts Howling Bells alongside her lead guitarist/brother, Joel. But this Australian band's sense of otherness is quite unique. The rumblin 'riffs of "Broken Bones" and "Blessed Night" motor unswervingly across "rock" terrain, tracking back through The Jesus… read more »

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marry me Juanita


best substitute is to put this album on repeat play

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Not having albums downloadable based on their region is ridiculous. You're pretty much forcing me to pirate.

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For the moment, unavailable in the USA :(


I really wish they'd get distribution in the States. I'm seeing them open up for The Killers and The Rapture in two days, but I can't actually hear any of their music; just the two songs on their web site (which I love). Hopefully, they'll be selling CDs at the show.

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wow. what a gem


Great guitar riffs are still possible. Even in this day and age. Stunning bluesy-based rock accompanied by Juanita's lush voice. Can't wait to see these guys live.

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sultry sultry music


what a voice what a band don't think about it - download this now

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Pretty solid


Overall a good album. The Throwing Muses comparisons are somewhat true but the real similarity is with Belly, perhaps I dare say mixed with a little Coldplay (mainly the jangly guitar lines). A bit of filler, but even the bad songs aren't terrible. Try: Setting Sun, Low Happening, Broken Bones. Also for the eMusic staff: this is the wrong cover for the album.

They Say All Music Guide

It’s 1991 all over again, or at least it feels that way when listening to this fun, shoegazer-worshipping self-titled debut from Australia’s Howling Bells. The album’s 12 tracks owe a huge debt to Slowdive and just about every 4AD band circa 1990. But for every distorted guitar and hummed harmony, there’s an equal dose of Americana twang in singer Juanita Stein’s delivery; and thus perhaps the group exhausted their Mojave 3 collection as well. There’s no doubt that “In the Woods” is an homage to Neil Halstead, and at least half the tracks are aimed distinctly at the radio. Coldplay producer Ken Nelson adds the heavy smattering of commercial bombast, particularly in the Chris Martin-esque “The Night Is Young,” which borrows structural elements from and blatantly steals the climactic guitar conclusion of “Yellow.” Catchy melodies and killer hooks borrow themselves in one’s brain after repeat listens, but shallow subject matter, often goofy rhyming lyrics, and a heavy-handed use of falsetto sometimes sidetrack the album as a whole. The single “Low Happening” is nearly irresistibly catchy, but cringe-worthy lyrics bring it down, and “Broken Bones” features falsetto styling that only a mother could love. But the good ultimately outweighs the bad, making for a flawed but still satisfying debut. If not for the constant shift to shoegazer dynamics and ethereal harmonies, Howling Bells almost come across like an Australian version of New Pornographers, and that’s not such a bad thing at all. – Tim DiGravina

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