Rock ‘n Roll Redesigned: The Howlers take the stage ahead of their second EP release
A small stage on Gloucester Road in Bristol could mean so many different things, and it is the perfect setting for an unpredictable atmosphere. The Howlers brought the goods on Wednesday night at The Crofters Rights and played strongly into a narrative format of gig playing. At the start, I let the music take me away and I didn’t know where I was going. Is this music for the beach? A loft party? Kicking goals? Some adrenaline junky adventure? Wherever I was, I was having a great time. As the night went on, the vibes went up and I felt firmly placed in the here and now, taken back from whatever journey the music initially sent me on and forced to feel the electric atmosphere of the room.
The Howlers are an East London based desert rock band comprising of Adam Young on guitar and vocals, Cameron Black on drums and Guus ter Braak on bass. Receiving praise from BBC 6Music, KEXP, BBC Radio 1 and The Independent, they’re just getting started. Currently on tour across the UK ahead of the release of their second EP, they’ve got a final upcoming show in London.
This show isn’t one to miss. Intimate and dynamic, it’s rock and roll bathed in feel good warmth. A live gig always feels very different to recorded music, and though the positive energy of this band can be felt through all of their recorded tracks, there’s something special about hearing lead singer Adam saying “cheers” a little too early before the end of a song, summing up the local UK “thank you, what an absolute vibe it is to be here” feel.
Tried and true is the feeling and subsequent energy and room moral of a bands lead singer enthusiastically whipping out a percussion instrument to accompany the set, and my god does Adam get it on the tambourine. Dropping the tambourine on the ground was a demonstration of thrilling stage presence; quirky, in the moment and fun. The only disappointment here was that the tambourine-to-ground chuck tally only hit a mere two.
“Chatting to the trio after the set, it was clear that they were on a high. Really straight forward, easy going guys who are there to make good music, have a good time and share the good vibes…”Kristina, IAMUR
Something to watch about The Howlers is how they’re participating in a movement that is redefining and modernising rock. There’s the skill of taking old rock vibes but toning down the noise to make way for the more intricate riffs and melodies that have been hiding there all along. It’s not just big and boisterous, but intentional and decisive, without taking away from the fever. The Howlers have a definite visual aesthetic that’s reminiscent of the 70s and this carries on into their sound.
This is a band that is here for the people, the music and the pure euphoria of a good show. Chatting to the trio after the set, it was clear that they were on a high. Really straight forward, easy going guys who are there to make good music, have a good time and share the good vibes, they revelled in the support they’ve been receiving across the map and from their eager audience. They’re not in it for the glory, and “whether it’s 5 or 5000” in the crowd, they’re ready to put everything they have into an amazing show.
CHECK OUT OUR FULL INTERVIEW WITH THE BAND
“Sun-soaked soundscapes and Twentieth-century nostalgia with The Howlers”
Released on 7 September, their new single The Boy I Was Before is the second release from their upcoming EP, Further Down the Line. It’s refreshing, uplifting and a little retrospective. Starting with a funky bass line that would pass a vibe check from The Jets, it builds to a fun vocal line that has already shown itself to be able to animate a crowd. Intentionally shaky vocals, perhaps best described as highly caffeinated vibrato, change the timbre of the chorus and it’s a unique sound that allows Adam to show off his skills. The track explores big dreams, innocence and the drive to make life better in a manner that is playful yet earnest.
If you’re keen for rock that’s a little less angry and a little more here-for-a-good-time, The Howlers’ next gig is where you need to be. Nostalgic music that’s redesigned, these tracks will have you feeling warm, fresh and excited for life.
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Readers can find out more about The Howlers on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Bandcamp, Tik Tok and all the major music streaming platforms. Information and tickets for their forthcoming shows can be found here.