‘America Give Up’ (Rough Trade)
Of all the writing out there, music rags tend to be some of the most linguistically, er… colourful texts around. But we’d wager a fair bet that Howler would rather us eff and blind all over the shop than mention that other ‘S’ word. Because, though Jordan Gatesmith and co bear more than a passing resemblance to a certain other leather-jacketed, skinny-jeaned US quintet, ‘America Give Up’ proves them to be far more exciting than a mere second generation rip-off. Packed with unpolished garage guitars and bratty, youthful vim, Howler’s debut dips its toe into the waters of the whole modern US cannon. ‘This One’s Different’ is all Drums-ish jaunt, whilst ‘Back Of Your Neck’ begins with Black Lips-recalling howls of abandon and ‘Back To The Grave’ doffs its cap vocally to Adam Green’s crooning baritone. From beginning to end, ‘America Give Up’ bursts with ideas that are familiar enough to instantly hit home but new enough to stay there. And true, the likes of ‘America’ and ‘Pythagorean Fearem’ are more Strokes (there, we said it) than The Strokes themselves these days, but heck, at least someone’s still carrying the torch. America’s next great guitar group? This is it.