Going Gets Tough
Not The Man
The fourth long-player from the self-described "beach goth" collective named after the fetid handiwork of a fruitful outhouse visit and not the more commonplace brewpub takeout vessel of the same moniker, Chinese Fountain sports a derelict mix of psych-tinged surf rock, reggae-pop, dub, new wave, and country that's as bonfire- and hallucinogen-ready and as it is hopelessly ramshackle. An easygoing, distinctly Californian vibe permeates much of the album, as does a tendency to drift off (stylistically) in musical conversation that suggests some choice herbs and fermented grains were utilized during its creation, but the Growlers are amiable enough hosts that the listener never has to endure any epic guitar soloing or shamanistic beach poetry, let alone a song over four and a half minutes. Standout tracks include the dub-ska-kissed "Dull Boy," the evocative, Jim Morrison-inspired "Purgatory Drive," and the spacy, white-boy funk-blasted title cut, all of which suggest Camper Van Beethoven by way of Kurt Vile.