Papa Pilko and the Binrats – Howlin’ (Independent)
“Howlin’” is the second EP release from Papa Pilko and the Binrats - the Sydney based septet released their self-titled debut collection back in May 2012. It’ll come as no surprise that they’ve a reputation for wild, rowdy, vigorous live performances, the sort of performances that keep a crowd coming back for more, and surely essential if you’re going to keep a seven-piece band fed and watered.
All dressed up in not-quite-matching black cowboy threads, they must be quite a sight, throwing themselves around a stage, playing their blend of hi-energy honky-tonk and bone-rattlin’ blues. It’s to their credit that they can transfer all their enthusiasm into the sterile confines of the studio, and on “Howlin’” they do just about everything right. Guitarist Pablo Martin has got a beautiful touch; his lead runs on opening cut “Back Home” are a joy to hear, and lead singer Cyrus Pilko provides a perfect foil. Though they’re obviously influenced by the country and blues men of yesteryear, there’s a knowing post-punk feel to all aspects of their sound, from the lyrics and musicianship to the spartan production.
Of the five tracks they present here, there’s absolutely nothing that could be described as filler or throwaway. Everything deserves attention and all would sound great on any alternative radio station with decent taste and an adventurous programmer.