Those Howlin’ Sounds, an up and coming rock band with influences acts such as Slaves and Black Lips, have released a debut album.
The collection, entitled “Sleepwalker” comes after the release of their first ever self-recorded single, “Twenty Five”, which hit the scene in September 2017.
Made up of 10 tunes, “Sleepwalker” kicks off with a fast-paced, energetic piece. An instrumental number that gets the listener ready for the rest of this release. Whatever the intended purpose of “Ilson Surf Disaster”, to me it serves one function: a pretty successful introduction.
Next comes “Twenty Five”, just as energetic as its predecessor, but a lyrical element certainly adds another dimension to the tune. This song feels as though it belongs in punk albums of old; its quick, deliberate vocals sit well with the equally loud instrumentals permeating the song.
The third song of this collection focuses more heavily on singer Alex Strongman’s vocal abilities. The tempo remains the same, but Strongman seems to take more control of the direction of this particular tune. The song, entitled “Be Through”, is the type to fit in very well at a live event. Its tempo is just wild enough to force you to want to get up and dance to it.
“Lose The Light”, number four on the album’s running, does represent a slight – and important – change of pace. Slightly less punk rock and slightly more “Indie”, a different kind of energy is being expressed here: if previous songs represent the thrash of punk music, this one brings across a happy “danceable” quality that can sometimes be seen in upbeat indie music.
The next few songs that make up this collection: “Slow Macomber”, “Sliverdrone” and “Forgot Me” hark back to the punk elements that began the album. However, the somewhat less frantic output of the three tunes here do achieve something different. Each beat of Kayne Clarke’s drums, Adam Crook’s bass or Luke White’s guitar seems more deliberate.
This album works through almost every version of music I would consider “Punk”, and its last three pieces exemplify this perfectly. “Panama”: quick-tempered and loud, “2p Philosophy”: slow and deliberate, a show of the band’s well-practiced instrumentals and “I Was Wrong”: an indie-punk tune you can dance to.
This album, and perhaps the sound of Those Howlin’ Sounds, is not yet fully formed. The experimentation at work in this collection is clear. But to punk and indie fans alike, I would have to invite you to listen intently to this release.