The Willowz -- Chautauqua
The Willowz have been inspiring awe and dropping jaws since their debut EP four years ago, with 2005's full length Talk in Circles
earning them Band of the Year honors from the LA Weekly
and a slot in Rolling Stone
's Top 50 Albums of 2005 cover story.
The Willowz' latest, Chautauqua, finds the band in a growth spurt, as vocalist/guitarist Richie James Follin and bassist/vocalist Jessica Reynoza welcome new guitarist Aric Bohn and drummer Loren Shane Humphrey, who help expand their Indie/Garage Rock range without forsaking their core sound. On the album's opener, "Beware," The Willowz mix up a thick White Stripes-via-The-Stooges paste and apply it to their own broad canvas, mixed with Led Zeppelin's trowel of the gods. After that, the Willowz throw away the map and compass and navigate by pure intuition, moving from the lost Robert Johnson patina of "Jubilee" to the Bob Dylan-rocks-the-garage stomp of "Nobody" to the Beatlesque "Evil Son" to the all-hands-on-Jimmy-Page's-deck howl of "Warship." With Chautauqua, the Willowz prove their mettle (and Metal) as a big expansive Rock machine cleverly disguised as an economical Indie/Garage band. The Willowz play a free show at Northside Tavern on Wednesday with guests The Cincinnati Suds. (BB) Grade: B+