Download Then See: Howler
By Lizz Kannenberg in Arts & Entertainment on Mar 8, 2012 8:20PM
With the prevalence of electronic-based, manipulated “rock” music the past couple of years, good rock ‘n’ roll has been harder and harder to find - especially from younger musicians. That may be why Howler, the main project of 19-year-old Minneapolis native Jordan Gatesmith, snapped our ears to attention earlier this year with the precocious debut America Gives Up, a blazing, buzzy homage to the kind of guitar-based, DIY sound that used to give kids something to feel hopeful about. Songs like “Beach Sluts” and “Back of Your Neck” infused the kind of quirky-yet-tough garage sound of Television (and later The Strokes and Elephant 6) with the brash, irreverent, sometimes off-color but always full of heart Midwestern rollick of The Replacements. Considering that Gatesmith was eight years old when Is This It was released, he’s done an admirable job of twisting that sound into something capable of cutting through the clutter of chillwave without alienating the trend watchers.