As stated in the press release for Howler’s upcoming album, World of Joy, “…the record is supposed to be almost like a jukebox at some sloppy bar in Minneapolis playing things like: Thin Lizzy, The Replacements, The Modern Lovers, Kiss, The Smiths, The Stooges, and other randomly assorted bands. It’s a tribute to our love of rock n roll and to the lineage of that genre we so admire.”
That sentence alone should indicate precisely what you get out of Howler’s new release, coming out March 25th.
World of Joy is the Minneapolis quartet’s second album, and while the varying bands listed as inspiration may seem like a mixed bag of differing genres, styles and moods, Howler’s album is a cohesive take on the greatness of music from past generations while still very obviously keeping their own sound.
The track kicking off the album, “Al’s Corral”, sets the mood for Howler’s style with a gritty punk-rock anthem. By the third track, “Don’t Wanna”, the mood and style do a complete 180-degree spin. “Don’t Wanna” is a softer sound. Not quite a ballad, but is definitely reminiscent to the softer Ramones’ music (particularly “I Want You Around” or my personal favourite, “Questioningly”).
Only a few songs later, the title track “World of Joy” sounds like a vastly different album, breaking away from the softer rock sounds and kicking it into a higher gear with a fast-paced tune, laden with guitar distortion.
Howler keeps things different, with each song on World of Joy sounding like a single taken from the different bands that influenced the album. For the cynic who believes that good rock music doesn’t exist in 2014 like it used to when there were bands like The Smiths, The Clash, The Stooges still alive and kicking – Howler came out with an album pulling those distinctive styles while keeping their own identity and proving that in the harsh face of 2014, punk is definitely not dead.
© Megan Rach, Music Vice
Internet link: Howler
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