Thursday, 13 June 2013

Charles Howl - Surf Trem

Single review by kev@thesoundofconfusion.co.uk


Charles Howl is the bassist with London group Proper Ornaments who also feature James Hoare from Veronica Falls amongst their ranks. So you'd be within your rights to expect something a little on the fuzzy, scuzzy, lo-fi and indiepop lines. Well, that's not far off. The difference with this single from Howl is that instead of sweet melodies and girl-group sensibilities that are wrapped in distortion, the whole sound here is much more aggravated and harsh, although not in an aggressive way, he simply shuns those honeyed melodies in favour of a rawer noise.

'Surf Trem' begins with a classic rock 'n' roll riff before half-spoken and almost emotionless vocals join in. From here it's all battered drums, wailing guitar and plenty of distortion, all backing his prominent and firm vocal delivery. During a reasonably lengthy instrumental break we're treated to warped psychedelia that takes recognisable sounds and contorts them until they feel awkward and almost jarring. It's a good track, but if you're expecting anything that resembles his associates you might be out of luck. If though, you prefer something that challenges you that bit more, this could be right up your street.


SURF TREM from Lo+LOAF TV on Vimeo.



Charles Howl's website

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