Hear The Track HereAn artist who has made a very big impression with me in a very, very short space of time, Howard Billington is definitely one of my Soundclick musicians to watch out for. With just two Howard Billington tracks under my belt, there is no doubt in my mind that this musician is a singular talent. His music and songs have all the charm, grace and style of an somewhat over-enthusiastic six week old puppy; exuberance personified. I'm not going to say that this is music that will lick your face right off in a rush of boisterous pleasure but it certainly feels that. Now being a well known curmudgeon and part time cantankerous old fart you would have thought I would run a mile from something like this but, the fact is, Howard's music even got to me.
There, I said it. Happy now. Harrrrummmmppphhh.
Having said that, I haven't heard any of the tracks off the brand new freely downloadable Welcome To Tomorrow LP of which 300 Years is the first track so let's get to it. Almost the first I noticed about Howard was his songwriting ability, that eerie knack of putting the right sounds to the right words. I've compared him to both Ian Dury and Madness and that's chiefly because they are all Londoners, making music for Londoners - despite its universal appeal. To me, that is the real point about Howard and his music, he makes no bones about his roots and his music lives and breathes because of it. Oh, and remember that puppy we were discussing in the first paragraph? Remember about the face mask, whatever you do.
Imagine, if you would, a cross between Madness (structure), Joe Strummer (pace and style) and the lyrical simplicity of the whole punk period and you've have a pretty good idea about which kennel this guy lives in. Not really sure what 300 Years is all about to be honest but there again I don;t really care either because what is there is pure - if decidedly lo-fi - punk energy. You wouldn't say that by the slow intro mind, so give it a while to get into its stride. Somewhere around forty seconds in, the track picks upself off, eyes the starting gate and pelts off hell for leather for the outro. It's a poppy, engaging song encased in what is a danceable rhythm but you'd have to be about twelve to have to energy to bop around to it. Whatever, it certainly bodes well for this new album so watch this space for some more adventures in puppy raising...
Highly Recommended modern punk.