I knew nothing about Howler when I popped their CD in the player except that I’d seen their name around the music blogosphere. In fact, it was the name of the album that caught my eye when scanning my stack of CDs – “America Give Up”. I had to wonder what that was all about.
What I heard was simple, punchy power pop – with rock ‘n’ roll rebellion in the form of frontman Jordan Gatesmith’s “I don’t give a crap” vocals. He also drops an F*bomb almost immediately in my favorite track off the album, though the “oohs oohs” sung wholeheartedly in the background in “Back of Your Neck” betray that toughness.
They’re being compared to The Strokes and The Drums. And, like those bands, seems to be making a bigger splash in the UK, even though they’re from Minneapolis. Both The Guardian (who calls it “sunny garage rock”) and NME are wholeheartedly behind them. Rough Trade released their debut stateside this week and you can hear a stream of the full album here.