Howard Finster - Demo (Cover Artwork)
Staff Review

Howard Finster

Demo (2004)


It's tough to pin down something like this.

Awkwardly filed under hardcore, Howard Finster actually use dramatic, melodic guitar chords and the occasional octave along the lines of Thursday or even A Static Lullaby [cue about half of you leaving this review], but tucking them neatly under a relentless, screaming growl forces the abovementioned style labeling. The nine-minute demo can grate a bit overbearing on the dramatic moments, but there's enough creativity and intensity to alleviate what could otherwise destroy the potential of a young band.

"Running Man" opens with a movie clip, so they've got that part down pretty well. It's then brushed aside, however, as a caterwaul scream initiates things with the stop-start riffs. Any chance to easily lump them into the nu-screamo pile is defended by the fact that there really isn't a second of melodic singing to lure in the attempt, although you'll certainly sit there expecting it because of the instrumentation. There's some yelled spoken-word parts, but they're more reminiscent of Mewithoutyou than anything.

For a demo, it really isn't half-bad. It showcases some definite potential from a band who may not be doing something new, but are surely avoiding doing something that got real old real quick.

Running Man