By Adam Lovinus
By Lilledeshan Bose
By Gabriel San Roman
By Rachel Mattice
By Stephanie Zacharek
By Daniel Kohn
By Nate Jackson
By Mike Seeley
Bring the Noise
Music should be fun, right? Electrorock quintet Howl named their album Party, and the record contains songs titled “Rad 9,” “Black Dracula” and “Wendigo” (named after a mythical monster), so it’s safe to say they get it.
Howl singer/guitarist Brady Miller has been around the Orange County music scene for a while, playing guitar in Bad Dudes (see Kat Jetson’s “Works Well With Sports Bloopers,” April 22, 2004) and, before that, Miracle Chosuke. He formed Howl last fall with bassist Patrick Hunt, drummer Walter Sebring and since-departed guitarist Aaron Danks—and the lineup has expanded to include colorfully named gents Grace Face Peters (synths) and Ray Gun Pacini (guitars).
Party splits its time between Faint-esque snotty dance-punk tunes and spacey, atmospheric near-instrumentals. Opener “Rad 9” plays like sci-fi surf rock, with an old-school chorus and relentless beat meeting heavily distorted vocals and gobs of processed guitar fuzz. Further into the album, vocals are distorted so heavily they’re almost indecipherable, such as on parts of “Euro.” This must be a deliberate stylistic choice, as if Howl are saying the lyrics aren’t any more important than the unique sounds they’re able to create—a notion further suggested by the presence of such instrumentals as “Nemoto.”
For a band still in their first year as a unit, Howl are moving as fast as some of their songs, already working on a follow-up to Party that, they say, should be finished this summer. They seem to have their most fun when concocting wacky sonic experiments—check out the extended musical freakouts at the end of several tracks—so why stand in the way of science?
Hey, Orange County/Long Beach musicians and bands! Mail your music, contact info, high-res photos and upcoming show dates for possible review to: Locals Only,OC Weekly, 2975 Red Hill Ave., Ste 150, Costa Mesa, CA 92626. Or e-mail your link to firstname.lastname@example.org.