Hung at Heart

If it seems like it’s been a while since The Growlers put out a record, well, it has—two and a half years since 2010’s Hot Tropics. The path to the eventual release of Hung at Heart was a winding one for Costa Mesa’s wayward purveyors of beach-goth. Having initially recorded and mixed the album in its entirety under the guidance of Black Keys front man Dan Auerbach, The Growlers ended up scrapping the entire project—deeming it too slick—and re-recording the album in the familiar confines of their lo-fi home studio. Despite the arduous journey, the salty five-piece, lo and behold, produced another grimy nugget of psilocybin fun. Still nasally crooning, lead vocalist Brooks Neilsen and the gang bring back their recognizable, yet entirely unique, brand of ramshackle surf, mucking about with slightly brighter-than-usual tidings. “Someday” sets the mood early, with Nielson claiming “I can give you everything that you want instead of take”—a far cry from his usual dark sentiments. And while Hung at Heart does at times lull with obtuse dirges (“No Need for Eyes,” “It’s No Use”) the rickety singsong of “One Million Lovers,” “Pet Shop Eyes” and “Beach Rats” wins out in the end.