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Fifth by The Willowz (Thrill Me Records)

Fifth by The Willowz (Thrill Me Records)


Anaheim, CA trio The Willowz have been called Garage Rock, and to me, that term brings to mind mainly non-classically trained people playing their instruments and jamming to the best of their ability.  Often crafting simple, catchy songs, Garage Rock was Punk before that term came to be. The word punk comes from a stick of flammable material used to start fires and fireworks.  And without punks we wouldn’t have these colorful, loud, catchy songs as heard on The WillowzFifth.


On Fifth the trio keep the simplicity of guitar, bass, drums and vocals, with the occasional overdub of guitars and hand-claps or backing vocals. Expect these songs to sound insane live. See You Again is a power pop song with echoing vocals, wolf howls and glammy guitar and drum thump. Just Can’t Wait has Richie James Follin singing high and yearning “Sweet little demon I’m in love with you/ Nothing in the world I wouldn’t do for you…/ Just to get to you” over a pile-up of buzzing guitars and organ and a shuffling beat.  Never Let You Go follows, a hard-rocking number of Motor City Blues meets Kiss with compressed vocals and grimy guitar splashes.


On Anyways The Willowz play both kinds of music: Country and Western with acoustic strumming and a big, sad melody that leads to a psychedelic electric middle section and then a monstrously fuzzy yet soulful guitar smashes over those purdy melodies.


Fifth closes with Lily, a bright string riff punctuates Follin’s far-away vocals and battles flatulent guitar stabs.  It all sounds like you’re listening to a cheap 45 but without the skips. A long-lost treasure from a bygone time where kids did their best with what they had, their personalities and innate talent shining through like colorful fireworks in the sky.


(by Bret Miller)


The Willowz are:

Richie James Follin: Guitars, Lead Vocals

Jessica Reynoza: Bass and Vocals

Loren Humphrey: Drums


On Tour with Cults:




Thrill Me Records



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