The Growlers' Chinese Fountain won't be out until fall, but the laid-back SoCal surf punks have let loose the album's first single just in time for summer. On "Big Toe," the band picks up where their nine-song Gilded Pleasures EP left off in November, delivering another trademark nugget of salt-water psychedelia, entrancing listeners with a compelling groove as singer Brooks Nielsen croons atop with slacker swagger. Not all's peachy, though. There's an ominous tone here, as he slanders his subject in a narrator's voice, telling listeners, "She's a lost cause, so count your losses."
Chatting with Nielsen last month, SPIN learned the new album was created in typical break-neck fashion. But for the first time that's stuck (as opposed to that long lost Dan Auerbach session), the band recorded with "nice equipment" in a modern studio. It's not squeaky clean, by any means, but it definitely doesn't sound like crap. They're growing up and getting their act together, apparently. And it sounds damn good.