Here to fill us with the joys of indie-rock as its most soulful is The Howlers, with a brand-new, four-track EP that’s made up entirely of shake-off-your-blues goodness. In each of the offerings, it’s exceedingly obvious that they’ve put the hard yards in for our ears’ listening pleasure.
While the two previously released tunes remain my favourites, that should in no way be perceived as the other 50% of the collection being less absorbing; it’s far from it. There’s just something especially fun and happiness-inducing about them.
The EP opens with ‘Nothing To Lose’, a funky bop that makes you want to move. It bursts into action at a striding pace, with a worry-busting, upbeat vibe and a few token Miles Kane-esque elements in its delivery. The softer verses cleverly allow for the choruses to pack the punch again and again.
You then get ‘Further Down The Line’, the title track, that’s a jangly, slower and particularly melodic number, which I recall hearing them play at the end of August at Hyde Park Book Club. It’s a fine example of their work-even-harder ethic musically, whereby they’ve poured so many instrumental tips and tricks into their material, that it’s almost remarkable to remember that they’re just a three-piece.
‘The Boy I Was Before’ is the third in line, which just oozes nods to The Black Keys — and it’s for that reason that it probably stands out as my winner from the bunch. It’s just begging to be spun on repeat. But once you’ve stopped that and you’re game for finishing the EP, the gentle acoustic strums of the strings on ‘Autumn Leaves’ round it all out. It delicately draws the quartet of anthems to a close, and actually audibly harnesses that crisp, wistful season in its name and, in turn, offers you this delightful palate-cleanser to finish.
The Howlers understand how to craft a wholesome, bang-for-your-buck EP just as much as they know how to put on a stellar show. If you’re yet to get into them, I’d change that with urgency and press play on ‘Further Down The Line’ from 5th October 2022.