Title: America Give Up
Record Label: Rough Trade
We are sure you’ve heard the news by now, rock n roll is dead. Guitars are only fit for firewood and the idea of being in a band is as outdated as MySpace. Presumably Howler, the latest guitar slinging hopes for 2012 didn’t receive the memo much to our delight! The young band from Minneapolis, have been hot property for some time and have recently played second fiddle to fellow rock n roll torchbearers The Vaccines. Not to mention they have been snapped up by legendary label Rough Trade, known for signing a certain five piece from New York, who helped resurrect the ghost of rock n roll in back in 2001.
After causing a stir with their 2011 EP, This One’s Different, the young band from Minneapolis are set to be propelled into the mainstream with their debut record, America Give Up. Where as This One’s Different was a pop affair, Howler’s debut long player is a down and dirty rock n roll riot. Beginning
gracefully with ‘Beach Sluts’, which is awash with jangling surf guitars and handclaps accompanying
Gatesmith’s laidback drawl, the track doesn’t remain wistful for long as it descends into a full on
garage punk melee, bursting forth with razor sharp guitars and pounding drums. The following track ‘Back to the Grave’ doesn’t drop the pace with its searing riffs and propulsive rhythms.
Howler aren’t all quick-fire riffs and punk rock ramshackled bombast. There are a number of more considered moments on America Give Up, ‘Too Much Blood’ has a slight deft touch of shoegaze and uses swathes of feedback wonderfully to create a blanket of noise. Equally, Howler can produce great pop rock classics in waiting in the shape of ‘Told You Once’ and ‘Back of your Neck’ which sound like 50’s rock n roll rebooted for 2012.
If 2012 is going to be the year rock n roll dies, Howler will be the perfect band to play the wake.
Words and Thoughts of Adam Williams