dimanche 21 octobre 2018

Video of the Week : Howard "Evil" + E.P. review

I stumbled upon Howard almost by accident at the recent JIMI, a convention for independent artists and businesses, at Ivry sur Seine (Paris near suburbs). Performing under an unexpected bright and warm sun for this time of the year the trio performed like they were in the desert. Let say... near Joshua Tree if you see what I mean.

The show was short yet brilliant. As a power trio they delivered energy, strength, finesse and cohesion, each musician on the top of his game, playing well crafted songs, one after the other, with confidence yet simplicity. And at ease.

And what particularly gets me is that they are not your regular trio, the bass player being replaced by an organist hammering with his left hand the basslines on a keyboard plugged into a bass amp and at the same time delivering the most storming and electrifying Hammond parts through a Leslie cabinet ! And this is the key element here (not pun intended). While you can find plenty of great musicians and cool bands you won't come across this particular line-up so often and even more with such a perfect balance between each members.

Of course after the gig I went to the merch table and grabbed a copy of their 4 songs E.P.

And if Howard is not a retro act they surely embrace their 70s influences. And more than a specific band it is the spirit of the music from this particular decade that inspired the trio.
But you can hear a bit of Pearl Jam too while listening to "Moan". Without a doubt the Seattle scene is important for them as well. Just not so significant.

The Organ being central in their own music they fit perfectly under the Stoner rock flag and prove, if necessary, that the genre can be modern yet true to its origins.

My personal favorite is "Animism". A 70s blues based piece with soulful vocals and tasty guitar work that starting as a smooth blues to turn into a heavy number. Excellent.

And don't be fooled by "Architect"'s atmospheric verse ala Cult of Luna 'cause when the main guitar riff hits, its fuzz will crawl deep inside your head to leave you, well... craving for more. And once again the Hammond is just the perfect companion to such power riff. Definitely a Doom track.

If you consider this is Howard's debut record and its quality (the songwriting, musicianship and sound production)  you may expect nothing but greatness for their upcoming album. After only one year of existence and considering the young age of the members what they already achieved is quite impressive. 

Will they stand the standard in the future? I bet they will. And in the meantime show them so love by watching the video for the song "Evil".

The band will on tour in the coming days, don't miss them :

Howard - self titled  (2018 - self released)
Cardboard sleeve CD

1. Moan
2. Evil
3. Animism
4. Architect


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