The Growlers play a sort of thrift-store rock music, creatively reappropriating vintage sounds according to both whims and some master plan that calls for a party full of mischief.
The Costa Mesa, Calif., band plays psychedelic, country-tinged surf rock that borrows a bit of Beck's old slacker attitude (they call it "beach goth" and the record label tosses in terms like "hobo trance" and "boom-boom twang"). On Hung at Heart, the band finds a way to pack a rock history lesson's worth of sounds into something entirely unique to the Growlers.
Opener "Someday" is an easy hum-along that features a broke dreamer's imagery of turning "bologna into steak and tallboys into champagne." "One Million Lovers" sounds like a long-lost Kinks tune, an altogether quirky blend of bold chorus hooks and bouncily detouring verses.
"No Need for Eyes" spins around like a kaleidoscope, its swirling vocals grounded by a steady drumbeat, while "Pet Shop Eyes" takes a bit of a country shuffle out to the shoreline. "The Fruit Is for Everyone" puts a woozy instrumental coda on the party, a satiated half-stumble through the detritus of a time too good to completely remember.
Hung at Heart finds the Growlers in an inclusive mood, fitting 15 songs into a sprawling 50 minutes that never grows old, shifting styles song by song without losing the core of poppy magnetism.