Howards Alias (for the record, I’m having to fight a severe urge to put an apostrophe in there) are not your average ska punk band. It’s not just the list of influences that mark them out (Refused, AFI, The Mars Volta, Weezer, Norah Jones, Suzanne Vega, Tool, Alkaline Trio and The Slackers), as soon as you lay eyes upon the black artwork with its grey paintings of withered bodies it’s plain that the cheery party mood of most ska albums is unlikely to be found here.
Buy The Answer Is Never from Amazon
That’s not actually strictly true. Large parts of the music are very upbeat and recognisably of its genre, it’s the lyrics that lead the way into darkness and the music often peers in after them. This is more about challenging a style that many see as tired and narrow in vision and it does it well. Not in the psychotic manner of label mates Ye Wiles but with a more staid approach, drawing in from styles more traditional applied to minor keys.
The end is result is a rich and diverse sounding album with layered music that means you’ll be noticing new things about each song for a long time to come.
Read more from Indigo Flow
Label: Household Name
Release date: 7th June 2004