This isn't a classic debut album, or even close to it, but as a mission statement from a young garage rock band it's pretty damn enjoyable. Eleven punky songs,and they have the smarts to keep it short at thirty minutes, meaning it's impactful without overstaying its welcome. Just because a CD is seventy minutes doesn't mean you have to fill it all, and I always have more time for an artist who values quality over volume.
They show signs of having the songs, too; 'Back To The Grace' in particular has already become a *vomit* 'indie anthem', and they aren't a one trick pony either - even though this is sonically similar throughout, give it a few listens and the hooks and melodies begin to stand out and differentiate song to song. They also have a great live charisma; Jordan Gatesmith is ridiculously comfortable with a crowd for his tender years, and in between the cool hair and hipster good looks is a band who can truly bring it, with a heavy, powerful sound that can really ramp an audience up.
If they can write the tunes, there's no limit to how big Howler can be. And even if they don't fulfill the potential and fade away into obscurity, they'll always have this record; a concise, aggressive collection defined by teenage attitude.