Rise Up Howling Werewolf is straight-up electro-pop garage-rock from Muscle Shoals, Ala. Except, that is, when Rise Up Howling Werewolf is riff-driven, supernatural punk-blues; or retro psychedelic drone; or spooky, vernacular hill music.
Frontman Jamie Barrier, also of the Pine Hill Haints and The Wednesdays, launches double-entendres involving hot chocolate and butter knives against classic--and classically mangled--licks and beats. Throw in the occasional howl, and there it is: party rock for shape shifters.
There are numbers, however, such as "The Hearse," that are less fuzz and more punchy keyboards and sing-song melodies. Think old, obscure reggae or a dark take on Vampire Weekend, although the latter is probably not in rotation on the Werewolf tour van. All of which figures because, on a Myspace list of influences that includes ice-cream cake and Clint Eastwood, the only actual musicians are Suicide (a synth-heavy, proto-punk gig that molded Thurston Moore) and Fred Cole of the eclectic Dead Moon. What's not to like about a heavy dose of living room lo-fi and song titles like "The Indian Curse Will Bring You Back to Me"?
Rise Up Howling Werewolf plays the Ole Tavern, July 13, along with Ghosthand--a deep-fried, well-informed garage trio from Columbus, Miss., and local-ish rocker Ming Donkey's latest project--BomBon, a SoCal all-girl surf outfit, and its summer touring companion band, Hippy Riot. Bombon means "marshmallow" in Spanish (hot chocolate and marshmallow?), but despite some cutesy-sweet vocal harmonizing, they don't dish much fluff.
Historical scholarship is evidenced in the BomBon's familiar riffs: aggressive bass-lines, clean drumming and trembling vibrato. This is almost a given, considering that Bombon hails from San Pedro, one of the most legendary, still-vibrant punk communities in the U.S. Their drummer, Jerico, may be a moonlighting guitarist, and bassist Paloma may have just celebrated her first full-year of musicianship, but their legacy is as solid as Angela's vintage Harmony Rocket.
Expect all four bands to provide danceable good times at Ole Tavern (416 George St.) Tuesday, July 13. The show starts at