Tuesday, 17 January 2012

Album Review: Howler - America Give Up.

Ok, so Howler aren't exactly doing anything new. Their "last gang in town" image, their guitar-wielding-saviors-of -rock bravado and out spoken lead singer are all things we've seen in a hundred other bands. The resurgence of guitar music last year thanks to bands like The Vaccines means there isn't even much for them to save. However, none of this matter if they have good songs. And they do, in abundance. Howler are the brain-child of lead singer  Jordan Gatesmith, and from every interview they give, he's clearly in charge. He writes the songs, he plays the solos, he dictates the bands direction. A months ago he stated that the album consisted of "dirty rock 'n' roll songs" and that it clearly does. Their label, Rough Trade, describes them as a Strokes-Drums-Vaccines hybrid, and if that isn't enough to get you excited, you're not going to like Howler. Every song is drenched in fuzz with Jordan's recognisable drawl bringing the songs to life. His almost lazy approach drips with cool, but not as much as his lyrics. Old favourite "You Like White Woman I Like Cigarettes" is given a re-write, heavier bassline, new title ("Wailing (Making Out)") but still keeps the key line "I want a girl and a new car, I want a drink and a guitar". It's with lyrics like these, simple but intimate, that Howler prove their worth. They even have a song called "America" which helps you to nearly forget the crank-rock anthem by Razorlight a few years back. Howler look set to continue down the same path the Vaccines took only last year, only a little more bad-ass. And this is what makes them exciting and needed.

Best Track: Back Of Your Neck


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