Words by Sean Moeller, Illustration by Johnnie Cluney, Sound engineering by Mike Gentry
Just read this: If you take away sex from a man, you just fill him with desire, as if there were a hose screwed into his base and by plugging all of his out-going holes, all of that desire would just remain trapped like horseflies in a window and door-less building. One of the many things that I don't pretend to know in this world is how much sex anyone's getting, much less how much sex the men in the Atlanta band Howlies are getting on a weekly or even annual basis. It is for them to know and they can share that information as they please, or not share it. They could be getting none and that would explain the high levels of pent-up desire in their music or they could be getting way more than their allotted share of it and all that this reckless desire could be owed to them having such an elevated threshold for quantity of the old bump and grind. "Trippin' With Howlies" is a handbook for extravagant decadence. It's the way that young men get when they've got silver, flashing confidence, a pair of tight jeans on and just the right number of cocktails sprinting through their veins. It's what happens when there's just a stupidly voluminous amount of desire to account for, to dilute or to mess around with - to see where it will take us, how much damned trouble can be gotten into. The Howlies jack it up. They find desire to be love and to be false conclusions, which only goes on to ramp up the fires even more, to get everything stirred up into the kind of storm that you never fear, but instead anticipate with one of those bated breaths. When the Howlies are not only playing their material, but living it and thinking it - researching it is maybe the correct term - it's a sure thing that there's going to be an awful mess to clean up the morning after. It's not likely going to have to be their problem, but someone else's and it will always remain to be seen whose doorstep that burden will fall onto. There will need to be high-powered hoses, pressure sprayers, disinfectant chemicals and a good amount of time and patience to get things back to right after the torment has romped through, leaving a lingering dreaminess of classic garage rock-era distortion and a sense of paused adolescence that a newer band such as England's Art Brut do so well. There's seriousness in their intent to bang girls, or talk them into something sloppy, and yet there's plenty of the tongue-in-cheek treatment going on as well, as if there's perfect understanding that this is all in a form of jest. "(Do The) Natural Thing," the closing number on the band's latest album is a great resource for this dichotomy, of the brazen and the parody, when the intro comes through as a "Sweater Song" conversation, over a churning beat and jangling guitar riff. It goes a little something like this, starting with a Howlie speaking his mind:
Lend me five dollars.
So I can buy that girl a drink.
Hey, that's my girl.
Well…ask her to buy me a drink
And that is how they be. They go from there.
Howlies Official Site