What is most impressive about ‘The Headache’ is how much Howls manage to squeeze into such a fast-paced full-length. There is snarling aggression one minute and quivering tensions the next. There is party starting riffing one moment and all out apocalyptic heaviness a moment later.
Though on the surface this is a no holds barred punk record, if you dig a little deeper there is so much to discover. There is a level of craft and care you don’t usually get with music this scrappy and raucous, and an intensity that often doesn’t come across as sharp as it should. The result is a set of songs that are as individual and boundary-pushing as they are raw and familiar.
‘The Headache’ is an understatement. This is an absolute head battering. This is punk at its most visceral, clever, devastating, grooving and most importantly dark. Howls have filled a hole in punk that had slowly but surely been getting bigger with an album that holds nothing back and leaves nothing to chance. Now, bang your bloody head.
‘The Headache’ by Howls is released on 28th April on Truthseeker Music.
Words by Jack Rogers (@JackMRog)