What's always struck me as odd is that despite years of adoring some of the darkest and most fucked up doom and black metal out there, I still have a love for simple rock and roll. Perhaps there is no clearer example of that than in Eat The Gun's new classic Howlinwood which has a kind of Bad Religion-esque power to it that makes the record anthemic and fascinating, reflecting the eternal power of a genre that caused an entire generation to throw their lives away in the name of the music that they loved.
Despite many tendencies to the contrary in their peers I never really get the impression that Eat The Gun are trying to invoke the past on Howlinwood. Sure you get ideas from all different eras of rock and roll but you also get the sense that Eat The Gun are trying to build towards something grand. The sense of epicness that provides flavor to these tracks also helps to instill Howlinwood with a sense of meaning, as if these guys are turned onto a deeper reality that reflects the human condition. Maybe I'm over romanticizing but I think after multiple listens it becomes increasingly difficult to deny the transcendent qualities that this album has.
It speaks to the diversity of Steamhammer/SPV that they could put this out in conjunction with a record like Hammercults Built For War, and yet somehow it works. The thing is, Howlinwood may be high energy and major key rock and roll but it still reflects the same darkness that thrash bands try to communicate. Eat The Gun might bring the party and refuse to surrender, but they also are here to help open your eyes and guide you towards a patently beautiful world that you might otherwise never have understood.
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