REVIEW: HOWLIN’ STEAM TRAIN – GREEN JELLY [EP]

Green Jelly
Reviewed by Meghan Player
When I first met Howlin’ Steam Train a little over a year ago, they were a band that were still learning their instruments, still getting used to the idea of touring across the country and were still only relatively new to the thriving Melbourne music scene.

Twelve months on, and the times have certainly changed for the quartet. Hitting the road throughout the year to play at various clubs and at numerous festivals, the band have been gaining well-deserved praise where ever their music has taken them – a trend that is certain to continue with the new EP, Green Jelly.

Kicking off with the infectious ‘China Town‘, you’re immediately struck by how much the band has developed and grown over the last twelve months. The melodies are tighter, the sound more accessible, the result something spectacular.

Over The Bend‘ keeps your dance shoes moving, with a rhythm that wouldn’t seem out-of-place during a rock n’ roll/swing night in 50s. The blending of the tried and true melody with the bands modern focus creates a commendable mix of old and new influences – certainly no easy task.

Not to be marked as a one trick pony, the bands foray into the blues ballad, ‘Shine‘ – is perhaps their most adventurous track to date. The hypnotic melody is perfectly matched by Mathew Stott‘s vocals – and beautifully complimented by guest vocalist [and one of the country’s finest female vocalists] Mojo Juju. The result is damn-near perfection, and undoubtedly a standout on the EP.

Finale ‘Boogie’ delivers exactly what the title promises, a rag-tag, high adrenaline, fast-paced track that we’ve come to expect from the Melbourne locals – and certainly one that will become a favourite during a live set.

Undoubtedly, the 4-track EP redefines and represents a band that have not only found themselves, but continued to grow in the process. The natural progression the band has made over the last twelve months is commendable, and certainly a testament to the hard-yards they have put into their music along the way. If this keeps up – and for lack of a better expression – there won’t be many things to stop this train from rolling on.

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