Opening riff of first track 'Rest Well' breathes ferocity whilst energetic drumming pounds at the songs spine (not a bad way to start). Then the vocalist (Not sure which one as apparently they all scream) opens his mouth and screams hell upon the track. The vocals crossover a lot which works in the bands favour as they create a sound that sounds layered and more complex.
Title track 'No Living' takes a simpler riff and takes it foot off the pedal in terms of raw speed. Often hardcore music can come across as either fast paced and punky or an excuse to drop in breakdowns but here Howls have dropped an EP that shows more depth to the genre. This song is an example of that with a recognisable structure and some great sections that demonstrate variety. I especially enjoy the diversity in vocal techniques that help make for an identifiable chorus.
Track three 'Black Dust' is a powerhouse of raw emotion and ferocity that holds a passionate balls to the wall feel. The song resonates pure unhinged energy and bare anger. Final track 'Ides' drops the pace and doesn't come out of the gates swinging quite like the previous three songs on the EP. This is a good thing as it breaks up the sound nicely before delivering the bands iconic sound one more time.
Howls combine the raw riffage and hard hitting drumming of Royal Blood and mix it with harsh vocals that bring its fresh sound into the heart of hardcore. I do enjoy how the EP showcases more than just brutality and has glimpses of thought and technicality to add to the bands awesome sound. Impressively it shocked me to read that the band is made up of only three members. To appreciate how loud, aggressive and energetic Howls are take a listen and think about the fact that there is only three of them making that noise... Take that in.
The 'No Living' EP will be out on the 27th April. Anyone who is a fan of heavy of hardcore music would be a fool to not check this out!