Photo Courtesy of The Howlers
By: Maddi O'Meara
The East London rodeo is finally back in action thanks to The Howlers’ release of their new EP ‘Further Down the Line’ via Dead Centre Recordings. Cowboys Adam, Cam, Guus and Morgan have brought the wild West to the East through their searing sounds, which tackle topics such as grief, loss, and the responsibilities and fears of growing up.
The Howlers are your perfect pack of East London leather jacket-wearing, cigarette-chomping cowboys who pioneered ‘Desert Rock’- a scalding hot rendition of garage rock. Desert rock has the same elements of garage rock – heavy drum rhythm, moody guitars and a deep, grooving bass line – in addition to the Howlers’ scorching energy that radiates through their sounds.
While most of sounds have punchier rhythms, more Mods than Rockers, the band have really tuned in to their leather jacket roots for their EP ‘Further Down the Line’; with a more grungy tone that would make you want to put gel in your hair and speed down the coasts of Brighton on a Triton motorbike (please watch Quadrophenia for a quick British 60’s subculture history lesson).
The solitary yet electrifying tone is a result of the deep connection the band have with its narrative; an element found in the lyricism of their other songs, such as their 2021 EP ‘The Sum of our Fears’ that deals with the grief and pain that band suffered through the pandemic. ‘Further Down the Line’, however, holds a story that is relatable to many young people from the UK, struggling to make it out of the working-class cycle without any help from those who look down on them. This is the story of frontman Adam, and he shares what this song means to him:
“I grew up in a working-class town where people's ambitions extended only as far as the end of the street or how far they can stretch their next pay check, and for a point in my life I was in that cycle, living hand to mouth, dreaming of more, not really seeing a way forward. I moved out when I was 17, and I was working a job as a glorified cleaner scrubbing toilets and cleaning up after others, driving my scooter 15 miles every day in all weathers 6 days a week. I wasn't happy and it showed, if it wasn't for a boss I had at the time who pulled me aside one shift and said; ‘Look, you’re meant for more than this,’ I would probably still be in that cycle like most of those I grew up with still are. Just because something is difficult doesn't mean it's impossible, I’m eternally grateful he packed me off to a careers advisor that day on my lunch break and kicked my arse into gear to change my life. He made me go to night school adjusting my shifts so I could get there on time and that eventually lead to Uni, the first of my family to do that”
The song opens with a very powerful motif; ‘I was told the grass is always green’, a statement that represents the idea of being mislead by your perception of the world around you as you grow older, having the deal with the fears and responsibilities of adulthood. The song takes a twist to your typical coming-of-age anthem, defining a more realistic approach to growing up. The band discuss the realities of growing older in relation to their music, with support from garage rock band Black Honey:
‘Further Down The Line was really a turning point in the band’s Song writing, the song means alot to us, Adam brought it into a session with Chris from Black Honey and layed down the demo in a day, it's about that time in all of our lives where we start to realise that the grass isn't always green, the coming of age period where your forming your identity at the same time as taking on the responsibilities of growing up.’
Photo Credit: Hannah Jean Driscoll