“Natural Affair” review
November 21, 2019
The Growlers make a powerful return to the music scene with their sixth studio album, “Natural Affair.” The band has been together for 13 years, and this album truly sums up their journey of growing up together. While still representing The Growlers’ signature sound, which they have titled “beach goth,” this album seems to inch closer to pop music than ever before. Not as much of the teen angst sound from their past albums conveys how the artists have matured over the years.
The Growlers have consistently done a wonderful job of mixing sickly sweet lyrics with grungier instrumentals and voices. Lead singer Brooks Nielsen’s gruff voice helps them achieve this balance. A good example of this is found in the closing song, “Die and Live Forever,” in which they sing “Love together, suffer together, laugh and cry together.” These words may seem cheesy alone, but paired with some distorted guitar and wailing synths, it transforms into a whole new sound.
“Shadow Woman” is another song on the album which is reminiscent of some of The Growlers’ older albums. It begins with a vibrant, choppy beat that is soon joined by the raw, gravelly voice of Nielsen. It is a beautiful combination that always seems to work for the band.
Common themes in the band’s songs include love, childhood, pain and self-discovery. A lot of these elements are highlighted in the song “Pulp of Youth,” which opens with the line “The pop don’t sound the same no more, when I pull the cork.” The chorus continues these elements with “Wine still cheap and red, eyes still deep and true, glasses raise again, drink to the pulp of youth.” These lyrics remind fans that everyone has grown up a little bit, and times are different now. The relaxing guitar in the background adds to the nostalgic vibe of this song.
“Stupid Things” has one of the best messages on the album. It encourages self-love and confidence, two things which are important to the band’s success. The chorus goes “Stupid things you’d fix in in your reflection, if you had a million cash, if you knew then what you think you know now, what if you never could come back?”
These lyrics show the good hearts of the musicians. Being able to support the songs and the people behind them helps create a stronger bond between the artists and fans, and it is something that should be cherished in this day and age.
Overall, The Growlers successfully produced another album full of funky songs with meaningful lyrics. They continue to impress the world with creative beats, and the way they manage to stay in their own special genre of music should be respected. Clearly, this band has stood the test of time and they don’t seem to be stopping any time soon.