Breaking Artist: Howlin Rain

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Who: Oakland, California, quintet Howlin Rain. Fronted by Comets on Fire guitarist Ethan Miller, the band plunges deeper into 1960s influences on their second album Magnificent Fiend.

Sounds Like: A psychedelic cocktail of Crosby, Stills and Nash, the Faces, the Damned and author Raymond Carver. "Everyone dabbles in the history books to get their licks," says Miller, "We use the same roads and highways. But the weather, lights, cars and people, they're never quite the same."

Vital Stats:

• The band is approved by super-producer Rick Rubin, who will co-release Magnificent Fiend on his American Recordings label with indie label Birdman.

• The band is heavily influenced by pulp art, especially the writings of sci-fi author Michael Moorcock.

• Growing up in Humboldt County, California, Miller avoided the hemp culture and aligned himself with punk music. "I haven't turned my back on my lessons in punk, even in this stuff," says Miller. "We keep hitting you, but not just with bombast."

Hear It Now: Magnificent Fiend is out March 4th. Until then, check out their MySpace page for some songs, and watch the band behind-the-scenes and onstage performing "12 Galaxies" in the video above.