About to play their first high-profile public gig in more than a year at 89.3 the Current’s not-yet-sold-out birthday bash on Saturday, England’s favorite young Minneapolis rock stars Howler debuted the first single from their second album today and announced details surrounding the record. It’s (curiously) titled “World of Joy” and will arrive March 25 via Rough Trade, the legendary London label that made the Minneapolis rockers hot newcomers in the U.K. with the release of their 2012 debut, “America Give Up.”
“World of Joy” was recorded last year at the Terrarium in northeast Minneapolis with the band’s manager, Chris Heidman, once again producing (Heidman first signed the band to his So TM label). Frontman Jordan Gatesmith, now 21, was joined by two prior Howler members, Ian Nygaard on guitar Max Petrek on bass/keyboards, plus new drummer Rory MacMurdo. The new guy actually hails from New Zealand and impressed us when we caught one of his first sets with them last summer at a private party.
The first single, “Don’t Wanna,” shows a more melodic, poppy side than the band’s earlier work but with the same reverb-heavy guitar sound. “You don’t have to listen to the Smiths if you don’t want to,” frontman Gatesmith sings in the 2-1/2-minute single – one of several lyrics that sound partially inspired by his girlfriend, Sonny Marr (daughter of Smiths guitarist Johnny Marr). Another line goes, “Every place is the same, so you moved to Minneapolis and changed your name.”
Here’s the video for the song below. Pre-orders for the album are now available via Rough Trade, including a vinyl edition. Other song titles include “Yacht Boys,” “Aphorismic Wasteland Blues” and (another curious one) “Here’s the Itch That Creeps Through My Skull.” Stay tuned for info on a local release party and other tour dates, which will probably include another go-around at South by Southwest in Texas in mid-March.