American newcomers Howler sound like they were dreamt up by a committee of NME editors and Pitchfork aesthetes on a quest to build the ultimate indie/punk/surf pop hybrid. These five skinny kids from Minneapolis (home of such classic guitar bands as Hüsker Dü and The Replacements) certainly tickle all the right boxes – insouciant swagger, Ramones-like slackerdom, and Strokes-like insolence and there is much to enjoy here (and not just that great album title). Future indie heartthrob Jordan Gatesmith drawls his slouch of a voice across these short salvos of punk buckshot like the love child of Julian Casablancas and Joey Ramone (Back to The Grave is the missing link between The Ramones and The Strokes) and the likes of the wonderfully-dazed Back of Your Neck deserve day time radio rotation. It’s all instantly catchy and mindlessly enjoyable. Anyone looking for bleeding-edge experimentation look elsewhere; anyone seeking sleazy guitar rock with a big heart and a dopey grin, tune in and drop out here.

Alan Corr