September 2013 National Music Reviews

Reviews: The Howl – Things I’ve Learned While Swallowing S Words

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The Howl

Things I’ve Learned While Swallowing S Words

Berserk Records

Street: 07.16

The Howl = We Were Promised Jetpacks + The Libertines
What do you really get from a two-song release? In the case of Chicago-based The Howl, you get two songs, blow through them and then walk away with a serious case of musically induced blue balls. I like The Howl, and I like these two songs (although the beginning of “Cast Aways” reminds me a hell of a lot of the intro to Iron Chic’s “Cutesy Monster Man” for some reason), but it’s hardly a fleshed-out release. Clocking in at 5:45 apiece, both songs are wildly different, with “Cast Aways” providing the fast-paced full-band side and “Little Killer” taking things down into an acoustic lullaby. I love the vocals, I love the warm, soothing guitars and I’m ready to be a fan. But just when I’m getting interested, it’s all over—and nobody likes blue balls. It’s good stuff, but make sure you have their last seven-song EP on hand to quell any unfortunate tease-induced symptoms. –Matt Brunk
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