Recently appearing in the “About To Break” section in the NME Magazine, the Minneapolitans Howler have just released their debut EP titled This One’s Different. Opening with their new single ‘I Told You Once’, possibly the best song on the EP, the tone is pretty much set. The song starts with a warm, red-blooded acoustic guitar and, after being joined by the rest of the band, grows to a stomping, energetic chorus. It’s a catchy track that will have you moving your feet and humming the melody with its familiar sound.
Keeping up the energy, ‘This One’s Different’ becomes a bit dirtier with more grit and distortion on the instruments and vocals and, ironically, is the one track that sounds the least different and innovative. Starting with a bang, ‘You Like White Women, I Like Cigarettes’, has a rich and full quality production, soaked in sound, with a little nod to the Motown classics. The tongue-in-cheek lyrics seem to suit the happy thump of each beat – “There is one thing that is true, you’re a bitch and I hate you” jumps out as the singer’s low Bowie-like tones amble through the verses. The track builds nicely with an ending that will no doubt have any crowd singing along.
The fast paced ‘For All Concerned’ drops to a more serious tone. The crunchy guitar, thrashed and twanged with a heavy hint at The Strokes, follows a steady and tight rhythm section. The track pushes and pulls at your mood, with the chorus moving though dark melodies and sinister bass runs, but leading you into a fresh and melodious second section. It only takes about eight seconds of ’14 Days’ to decide that you want to get up and dance. Made for the club-night, this track pumps away from the start in an onslaught of the senses. It has splashes of The Sonics and New York Dolls, but at the same time remaining firmly rooted in the more recent sounds of bands like Franz Ferdinand and Kaiser Chiefs. Catchy and uplifting with a cooler overtone, ’14 Days’ finishes the EP in a blaze of sing-a-long glory.
Although this is a tight and polished EP, This One’s Different fails to bring something new to the table. With many echoes of The Strokes and other indie bands from the earlier part of the last decade, I can’t help but feel like I’ve heard these songs before on a dance-floor somewhere or on a TV commercial – whether this is a good or bad thing, it’s up to you. Either way, Howler is a band to keep an eye on.
Released on 1st August 2011 by Rough Trade