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Howlin Rain, ‘Magnificent Fiend’ (Birdman/American)

This project from Comets on Fire leader Ethan Miller specializes in the kind of trashy white-boy R&B practiced by everyone from Humble Pie to the Black Crowes. Despite literary ambitions — Miller cites novelists Michael Moorcock and James M. Cain as inspirations — and interludes of delicate loveliness (like the tangy, fluttering guitars of “Goodbye Ruby”), the quintet’s sludgy roar overshadows any lyrical flair, with Miller’s sandpaper howl leading the attack. When he bellows, “Lord, have mercy on my soul,” the result is hokey, irresistible fun.Now Hear This: Howlin Rain, “Dancers at the End of Time” DOWNLOAD MP3

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Tags: Albums