Howl - Black Rebel Motorcycle Club
Metascore
70

Generally favorable reviews - based on 24 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 18 out of 24
  2. Negative: 2 out of 24
  1. Cramming together brash rock snottiness with meek country hollers is hardly uncharted territory (not that it matters), but BRMC's particular mash-up still makes for a strangely intriguing party.
  2. 80
    Sparse, literate... and full of killer tunes. [Sep 2005, p.105]
  3. This is a record of towering acoustic-based songwriting. [Sep 2005, p.114]
  4. 80
    The new approach... lets them explore their lyrical side. [Sep 2005, p.94]
  5. The songwriting on mellower numbers like "Promise" isn't as finely crafted as the expansive sound. [25 Aug 2005, p.99]
  6. And though the change in volume might be ‘Howl’’s defining characteristic... it’s the shift in attitude that is its finest.
  7. It's a generally unconvincing re-direction of their sound. [#10, p.105]
  8. Howl indulges the band's heretofore-dormant interest in country, gospel, and Delta blues, in an exercise that sounds about as exercise-y as music gets.
  9. It isn't their best record, but as an acknowledgement that slabs of feedback-laden noise weren't going to take them much further, and change was needed for an attempt at a long-term career, it's promising.
  10. BRMC’s third album is a triumph.
  11. 75
    Howl is not exactly the group's Nebraska--BRMC dabble in too much "White Album" Beatlemania for that--but it's a general extension of that record. [Sep 2005, p.101]
  12. Overall, the songwriting and performances are consistently gripping.
  13. Deeply hypnotic narco-blues that conjure both The Band's epic pastorals... and Nick Cave's Southern Goth. [26 Aug 2005, p.59]
  14. Disappointingly forgettable. [Nov 2005, p.218]
  15. Howl feels consistently meaty and comfortably crafted. [Oct/Nov 2005, p.121]
  16. By the time the country twang of “Ain’t No Easy Way” hits with a massive drum-and-harmonica stomp, thoughts of Howl being a “Hey, let’s try this” album vanish, and the music becomes the entrancing jaunt of a band not necessarily finding itself, per se, but at least writing the best songs of its career.
  17. 30
    Sound[s] like bad Southern swamp songs covered by the world's most miserable bar band. [Sep 2005, p.131]
  18. "Howl" burns with just as much commitment and fervour [as the previous two albums]; it simply burns slower.
  19. A love song to American blues, gospel, country dirges and classic songwriting, rife with harmonica, soulful harmonies and dark lyrical themes anchored in notions of loss and redemption. [14 Aug 2005]
  20. A refreshing and revelatory palate-cleanser.
  21. They've broken their own mold and achieved something unexpectedly fine and durable.
  22. This turn for the yee-haw is a bit mystifying but hardly a mistake; Howl is exactly the cry the BRMC needed to make.
  23. The further they veer from the course (like the misshapen slide guitar and honking harmonica in the stupendous single "Ain’t No Easy Way"), the more memorable the sound.
User Score
7.9

Generally favorable reviews- based on 53 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 24 out of 29
  2. Negative: 3 out of 29
  1. JorinR
    Nov 26, 2005
    4
    To compare this to the previous two releases is un avoidable. This is horrible on so many levels if you are expecting the sound, feel and To compare this to the previous two releases is un avoidable. This is horrible on so many levels if you are expecting the sound, feel and content of Take them on... Simply put this should have been made under the antother name. This is almost as bad as T{I}NC. Full Review »
  2. MarkL.
    May 2, 2007
    9
    This album has incredible depth. I find that when artists explore a different sound for a collection of works, people freak out. Why that is, This album has incredible depth. I find that when artists explore a different sound for a collection of works, people freak out. Why that is, i have no idea. You'd think people would marvel in their ability to cover more ground than what they've previously achieved. BRMC knows how to write songs and capture a feeling with each song. These folk rock songs are a great modernization of old sounds done BRMC style... Great album. Full Review »
  3. FrankD
    Oct 14, 2006
    9
    Excellent songwriting throughout. Devil's Waitin' would be on Cash's American Recordings VI if Rubin could milk him any Excellent songwriting throughout. Devil's Waitin' would be on Cash's American Recordings VI if Rubin could milk him any further and Ain't No Easy Way is a killer tune. Too bad they can't play their instruments, but the songwriting is awesome. Full Review »