Howler – America Give Up
Opening firecracker ‘Beach Sluts’ (ahem, yes), signals promise for this fresh-faced quartet with its upbeat guitar-laden garage rock. Unfortunately what follows, at least in parts, is likely to disappoint.
Predictably awarded third place by NME for the title of Best New Band of 2011, 19-year old Jordan Gatesmith and his indie-pop wolfpack recently supported The Vaccines on tour. Like the latter, the majority of songs on Howler’s debut last for less than three minutes, reflecting their preference for the short and snappy.
‘Wailing (Making Out)’ epitomises scenester “cool” and is sure to guarantee them a spot at next summer’s Underage Festival, while ‘Back Of Your Neck’ sees the band aspire to the hazy, effortless vibe radiated by The Strokes on 2001’s Is This It. Regrettably, Howler lack the swagger of the influential New Yorkers and as a result have produced a rather diluted version of the authentic rock’n’roll vision.
America Give Up‘s tired formula, while essentially harmless fun, is not destined to lead to longevity for Howler, having been dragged up infinite times already by the likes of The Drums, The Films and innumerable other ‘The’ bands. Why this ambitious four-piece would choose to name both their first EP and a track on this record, ‘This One’s Different’, is bemusing and quite frankly, a little bit awkward.
America Give Up is released January 16th via Rough Trade Records.