Howler – album review

Howler
America Give Up
(ROUGH TRADE)

Each song on Howler’s “America Give Up” is a textbook power pop gem — catchy hooks, big, fuzzed out guitar riffs, vocals chock full of attitude, and most are under three minutes long. Howler is at their best on the strong, driving “This One’s Different” and the surfy “Back of Your Neck.” Unfortunately, Howler’s lyrics are pretty disappointing. Trite musings on girls, booze, and apathy are the dominant themes. The obnoxiously titled “Beach Sluts” sounds exactly like The Strokes. The first full minute of “Pythagorean Fearem” quickly recalls Dirty-era Sonic Youth. This brings us to another big problem with America Give Up: Howler isn’t bringing anything new or fresh to the table; listeners who know better would probably just prefer to dig out their old Ramones or Nirvana records instead. — Carrie Neumayer

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