Led by co-lead vocalists Dominique Sanchez and Mauricio Tinejro, the rising Mexico City, Mexico-based noise pop/shoegaze quartet Howless will be releasing their highly-anticipated full-length debut, To Repel Ghosts on February 18, 2022 through Static Blooms Records.
Reportedly, To Repel Ghosts will see the Mexican shoegaze outfit grappling with big themes, while hinting at nervous foreboding and striking different levels of consciousness throughout the album’s eight crafted and dynamic songs. Sonically, the album’s songs seamlessly transition into the next — and are performed with the self-assuredness and effortless aplomb of a group of old pros.
Late last year, I wrote about album single “Levels.” Lyrically inspired by William Garvey’s “Goodbye Horses,” “Levels” saw the members of Howless pairing old-fashioned pop craftmanship and textured soundscapes with an uncanny ability to write a razor sharp hook.
“Rain and Ice,” To Repel Ghosts‘ brooding, new single is a slick synthesis of Garlands era Cocteau Twins-like atmospherics and A Storm in Heaven-like, painterly textures with the song featuring a glistening synth intro, layers of chiming, reverb-drenched guitars and forceful chug and thunderous drumming paired with Sanchez’s and Tinejro’s languid and beguiling harmonies. Perhaps one of the Mexican outfit’s heaviest and darkest songs — both sonically and thematically — of their growing catalog, “Rain and Ice” further establishes the band’s ability to craft melodic and hook-driven material while evoking the sensation of a flop sweat inducing fever dream.
The recently released video for “Rain and Ice” was shot on a VHS camcorder — for that grainy, analog quality. And as a child of of the 80s and 90s, the video reminds me of 120 Minutes MTV alt rock, complete with the band members standing and/or moving in front of trippy projections.