Review: How How – Flickers

In May 2011, this blog described How How’s first EP ‘Bumpy’ as uneven, awkward and queasy. Fast forward to the present day and little has changed for their new album ‘Flickers’, which contains fine moments but the whole package doesn’t quite convince.

As the album opener, ‘Bumpy’ (which strangely didn’t appear on the identically-titled EP) sets expectations for experimental electronica seemingly influenced by Japanese artists. The childlike vocals are muffled and distorted, not unlike Múm. ‘Tetrolux’ is underscored by excitable beats but they can’t disguise a woozy feeling of sadness.

However, the main problem with ‘Flickers’ is its lack of focus as promising moments dither and deviate on the threshold of something special. In this company, ‘Kuterek’ is like a breath of fresh air. Its simple acoustic figure and seaside sample neatly segues into ‘Klakier’s Nap’. ‘K2’ is another one of the most coherent tracks but ‘GM’ provides the biggest frustration as its promising melancholic verses meander too much in to abstract territory.

Rather like their EP, ‘Flickers’ is sporadically good but How How’s songs tend to be made of sleepy half-melodies rather than nailed-on hooks. So this is one of those albums where nothing sounds wrong but nothing really stands out either.

Web Sites:
How How Bancamp

Further Listening:
anata wa sukkari tsukarete shimai, Múm

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