HOWARDIAN: Land of the Low Tides: Cassette

Howardian is the solo project of Japanther’s other half, Ian Vanek, out of Olympia, WA. Super fuzzed-out guitar and a drum machine. It’s gritty and dirty garage rock. One of the lines in the first track is: “You can’t fuck with a child of reggae.” I really don’t know what that means but I’m not willing to find out. Sound clips are littered throughout the album to break up the tracks. The last track is a collage of looped sound clips over some lo-fi drumming that I’m really not into. “Chunking” on Side A has real pretty guitar work that reminds me of early Cure. However, that song and “Marble Meshes” right before it, are both instrumental. Whereas the first one feels like it drags on way too long, the closing track more than makes up for the monotony of “Marble Meshes.” The record is a great effort, full of experimental weirdness that bands like Japanther are aces at, but I’m personally not sold on it yet. Might take a few more listens before it grows on me. If you’re into bizzaro, synthy art rock, this is your jam. But while I was once really into Don’t Trust Anyone Over 30,that adage applies to me now, so I guess you’re on your own here. 

 –Kayla Greet (Bufu, bufurecords.com)