At some point just about every band wants to broaden their horizons or step out of the niche that brought them success. BRMC takes that creative leap on Howl, a tribute to Allen Ginsberg’s epic poem of the same name. The San Francisco-based trio hit the charts running in 1998, bringing Britpop rock to a garage band roll on their critically acclaimed first two albums—but don’t expect psychedelic swirls and fuzzy guitar tones on this one. The mostly acoustic Howl revisits the Old South and the blues, taking the band’s seasoned darkness and brooding lyrics on a soulful, gospel journey couched in back-porch simplicity. Guitarists Peter Hayes and Robert Levon Been complement their voices with their instruments and not their effects, and though unplugged, they remain connected. RCA. –Patrick Wong
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