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HOWLS – ‘Headache’ Album Review

HOWLS – Headache

howlsHowls from Brighton release their debut album The Headache on Friday April 28th.

From the opening dirty guitar chords that develop into a full in your face build of the track, it’s clear that we are in for something special. Like a cross between the Chapman Family and Gallows, Howls are a frenetic and aggressive punk rock band. The opening track, Memory Eraser lays the table with power, pace, anger and some of the best punk rock I’ve heard in years. The excellent Small Talk is a tight, raw and powerful song with a super bass/drum middle eight and some throat scorching vocals. The band are not afraid to explore some mellower moments (relatively speaking) and the songs benefit from the changes of pace, tone and aggression.

This album is Howls newest material since their 2015 EP, No Living and they’re back with a vengeance. On Wide Awake the band open up with a grunge and grinding beat with a speaker busting guitar and those superb throat defying vocals – the slower pace does not compromise on the power at all. Two Snakes marries a rip-snorting riff with intricate drumming to venture into math-punk territory whilst Church Coffee brings those vocals over a bass driven opening and then a full frontal assault with some atonal guitar work to embellish the mosh pit inducing punk.

Restless returns to the heavy distorted bass and churning rhthym with echo-effects around the vocals creating a disconcerting vibe that is only relived with the superb riff on Guilt Trip with it’s Black Flag approach. The penultimate track, No Paradise is a 100mph rock-out extravaganza setting up the close, Headache. On the final track, Howls leave us with the title track and they showcase the ‘vocals recorded in basement’ tactic, some relatively mellow beats with guitar which build and build as the vocals are invited up front and the musicians increase the tempo up in a restrained way layering brick upon brick of shoegaze style (My Bloody Valentine?) of a wall of sound.

Truly superb modern day punk rock.

Get ready for the release of Headache by Howls by checking out this link: http://www.holyroarrecords.com/products/590083-howls-the-headache-preorder