I really wish journalists would stop bullshitting about guitar music being ‘dead’ because they couldn’t be any more wrong. Howler, a band of young, sexy, messed haired, ankle bashing Americans, are here to prove those cynical people fucking wrong in the form of their debut album America Give Up.
‘Beach Sluts’, a prodigious opener, sets a perfect tone for the rest of the album. It’s overflowing with youth. Infectious guitar riffs in tracks such as ‘This One’s Different’ and ‘Back Of Your Neck’ (which alternatively takes me back to the 60s with the opening riff) and memorable lyrics in tracks such as ‘Black Lagoon’: ‘B-L-A-C-K-L-A-G oooh… Oooh… N!’ and ‘Told You Once’: ‘I hate myself more than I hate you’ make it really enjoyable to listen to.
Ever listened to an album and thought, “what the fuck was that about?” America Give Up is not one of those. It’s raw, it’s edgy, it’s sharp, it’s punchy and anything but complicated. No experimental shit; just fucking good music. The album is consistent with every song being very well written.
Jordan Gatesmith’s voice takes a bit of getting used to. First time I heard it I wasn’t entirely sure if I liked his rough sounding distorted vocals but after a few listens I fell in love with it.
My least favourite bit of the album is that it’s only thirty three minutes long; I would’ve been more than happy to listen to an album maybe even twice as long.
Not that it is a bad thing necessarily but for me the entire album just echoes The Strokes. However, I don’t particularly see this as a problem because the album is still in no way derivative.
America Give Up is an effortlessly brilliant and easy to listen to album which I thoroughly enjoyed listening to from start to finish. Maybe if people would pay attention they wouldn’t think guitar music was dead after all.
By Emily Cramp
Dance Yrself Clean