The name of Howler’s debut EP is both correct and slightly misleading. With these five songs the band have taken a sound which is not very different at all, reminiscent of many bands, most notably the Strokes. But the latest signings from Rough Trade have twisted it into something undeniably more original than that. Howler are a five piece from
Minnesota and they’re not short on press in either, having just been named the number one band in the NME’s “Top 25 acts you need to hear”. With most of the songs under three minutes, there is a catchy, punky vibe to the EP. The raucous ‘This One’s Different’ and ‘I Told You Once’ demonstrate Jordan Gatesmith’s cocky vocals while the very Strokes-esque ‘For All Concern’ leaves Gatesmith sounding broody and menacing as he sings “I’m easy to love/and I’m easy to hate” Britain
“You Like White Women, I Like Cigarettes” holds no pretence as the band soundtrack Gatesmith’s moans until he roars “I’m so tired of making out”. But the oddity of the EP is “14 Days” which takes a totally different direction to the rest of the tracks. The pulsing drum beat pushes the song forward but the guitars are swathed in distortion and it is here where it becomes clear that Howler are not just the newest American guitar band.
As finishing touches are being put to the new album, it is a very promising start from
’s most recent export. Just don’t say they’re the new Strokes. America
By Jessy Parker