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Two Chances to See Howler Play Live

May 13th, 2014

Jordan Gatesmith (vocals and guitar) had been a part of a variety of other bands that didn’t stick together before he and a friend (who has since departed) formed Howler in 2010. Now rounded out by Rory MacMurdo (drums), Ian Nygaard (guitar) and Max Petrek (bass and keys), they play the kind of fuzzy guitar pop that calls to mind the likes of the Ramones, the Buzzcocks and the Strokes. After getting signed overseas, by Rough Trade, the Minneapolis group began to make waves in Europe—NME named them one of best new bands of 2011. Howler (above, performing “Indictment” live in studio for Radio K) then began to gain attention in the U.S. following the release of their debut, America Give Up (stream it below), in 2012. The A.V. Club says the album “practically glows with youthful energy” and that it’s “about woo-oo-oo choruses and fuzz-laden, spiky guitar chords, and there’s nothing wrong with that.” The band’s follow-up, World of Joy (stream it below), arrived earlier this spring. And NME remains a fan: “The difference between this record and its predecessor, however, is akin to the difference between a young athlete with plenty of potential but little nous or experience, and that same athlete after a couple of years of intensive self-improvement: Everything is that much bigger, faster, smarter and stronger. Tearing through its 10 songs in a shade under 28 minutes, World of Joy sounds like a band straining themselves to top a personal best. Happily, they’ve managed it.” See them tonight at Rough Trade NYC or tomorrow at Mercury Lounge.