[5 January 2009]
PopMatters Associate Music Editor
Following the release of the EP Sea Level, Howlies full-length, Trippin’ with Howlies, hits the streets this January. These 12 tracks crackle with an electrified intensity that seems even more urgent when considering the album was apparently completed in just three days. Filled with garage rock gems and sinister surf rock, Trippin’ with Howlies is a non-stop assault of retro done right. Every track is a keeper, whether it’s the boastful swagger and Motown beat of “Howlies Sound,” the militaristic march through the sirens of songs past on “Angeline” (“Michelle my belle / I feel you may have run away / Maybelline could Chuck ever believe the things you’d say?”), the descending, “Paint it Black” riff on “Adaptation” or the humorous, but still reverent, ode to the ‘50s teen love ballad “Aluminum Baseball Bat”. Howlies’ faultless proficiency and obvious love of rock and roll with a vintage vibe is matched only by the band’s refusal to take anything too seriously (listen close for a last laugh!). But seriously, everyone needs to go Trippin’ with Howlies.