Howler America Give Up

Howler America Give Up
Rough Trade founder Geoff Travis is famously known as the man who brought us the Smiths, the Strokes and the Libertines. Howler are his latest discovery, a five-piece led by frontman Jordan Gatesmith, who assembled the band after leaving his post as guitarist for Total Babe. From Minneapolis, MN, the birthplace of the Replacements and Hüsker Dü, Howler sound as though they really wore out their copies of Sorry Ma and New Day Rising. But they didn't stop there. No, Howler have the DNA of everyone from the Shangri-La's to the Jesus & Mary Chain and, of course, the band that gave life to so many others: the Strokes. It's no wonder, then, that the British press went gaga for their debut EP, This One's Different. Full-length America Give Up is more of the same, but if you don't mind your rock'n'roll openly derivative, well, Howler are one of the best young bands out there doing it. There's not a moment of boredom, as single "Back of Your Neck" rides a tidal wave of fuzzy surf rock, while "Too Much Blood" is a deadpan JAMC tribute and "Beach Sluts" sounds like a Wall of Sound production gone awry. Sure, America Give Up might not sit alongside Is This It or Up the Bracket in the history books, but in just 32 minutes, Howler have packed an album with so much fuzz, twang and infectious abandon it's hard not to get a rush from it. No surprise ― Geoff Travis does it again. (Rough Trade)