Howard - Please Recycle - Albums - Reviews - Soundblab

Howard - Please Recycle

by Mark Steele Rating:7 Release Date:2016-03-28

Howard released their debut album Religion in January last year, a golden-edged songwriting entrance that received high applause for Howard Feisbusch on guitar, vocals, Myles Heff on bass and Chris Holdridge on drums duty and joined by Alex Chakour on Guitar, Synth and backing vocals. There holds an extra interest for their current reconstruction EP – Please Recycle. The Brooklyn-based group’s sound has been somewhat compared to the likes of forerunner electro-acoustic experimentalists Fourtet and Autechre,  that could be quite a thumbs up given they are still in their early career.

It seems that they have regurgitated, extracted and elaborated on certain sections of their debut to provide an cut and paste collage. It could be the first EP of it’s kind, in that an artist is not merely remixing existing tracks, instead they evolve already laid down sounds into a new form.
A vast windy choral synth intro moves into a glitch-hop groove aboard ‘Plastic’, it has a sad elastane seam running through it. Slotting in smooth overdriven guitar, moody strings, flutters of futurism akin to Boards Of Canada with a hint of a surrealistic soundscape behind it, causing you to feel sorrow for yourself for a short while. Mike Oldfield’s Tubullar Bells album is partly similar on ‘Glass'  in the chimy arpeggios, that lead into the surreal pitch-bended Aphex Twin-ish like vocals, thumpy and scatty percussion with chirpy keys, likewise the staggered deep organ tones keep the tone low and chilled.
A dreamy Mellotron’s chilled keys is doubled up with an enchanting organ on ‘Paper’, adds steady eastern progressive guitar arpeggios, droning strings, bubbly melodic bass and softly sang mutterings. This then builds straight into pouncing drums, then arrive frantic guitar lines which then stop abruptly. Imagine after blacking out, regaining consciousness within an alien environment. That experience could be played out on this probably the strangest highlight on the recording; ‘Metal’. Scuffling percussion, wavering vocal slurs and a freaky haunting lute/strings loop. It becomes further odd through additions of a blaring diesel train-like horn cutting into shrill organ melodies with again a Tubular Bells tinge, along with a walking pace kick and snare drum pattern. Then a silence before the high pitched vocal line “We all gonna die”, then back into the chaos finalised by a simulated goose/donkey death cry. If only it was a simple ending for this 5 song set, as final track 'Waste' scans around in a scrambled mixture of tones harsh and soft. Guiding it along is an even metered metallic beat, which gets swamped by some backwards masked melodies with a coded message type hectic activity, toppd off with stuttered  mumbles at the end.

Howard with Please Recycle, have incorporated both familiar and random arrangements, and it makes a statement to prompt some rethinking on resourcefulness within current music production

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