Cpt. Howdy

It is not necessary to start a discussion about authenticity here. Anybody claiming that the "traditional" rock-attitude of Hamburg-based band Cpt. Howdy was nothing but a pose should beware - people who did that in the past were punished by being branded with the band's logo. Make no mistake: These guys didn't ask themselves for a split second if they wanted to do this kind of music or any other. For these guys, there was no other option; they simply had no other choice.

It is an incredible odyssey that rock'n'roll, well, hasn't yet returned from. Turn on the radio and listen to the manifold varieties that this music has given birth to. Thus it is all the more remarkable that Cpt. Howdy stayed wholly unimpressed by all the Crypt-bands of this world. This band can be exonerated from almost all influences of "modern rock". Ask them about their influences - my guess is that the maximum you will get as an answer will be a few raised eyebrows. Cpt. Howdy come as they are - and that's it. They do not think about changing their show outfit or whether they should hang their guitars a few inches lower or any such stuff.

But the band did not appear out of nowhere. Frontman and songwriter Lars Paukstat has been a regular member of the group FAUST which is centered around Hans-Joachim Irmler. Paukstat and Irmler have known each other for years, so it is only logical that Irmler produced "Nervous" and released it on his own Klangbad-label. Rough, solid, massive, (this could go on for quite some time) earthy beat music played with guitar, bass and drums plus vocals and a bit of harmonica every now and then – that's what this band is all about. They play their music very laid back and with an alsmost discarding gesture. Laxness is a keyword here. When you see this band, you're guaranteed to go all stiff in the hip and your right knee will start to twitch in time to the music. Listen to the warm gnarling of the guitar being propelled foreward by bass and drums and realize that here, everything is in its right place.

But then Hamburg does have a tradition in beat music and the Howdies are aware of this. It is not for nothing that there is a photo of the BeatClub St. Pauli at the centre of the CD's booklet. The harbour, the Reeperbahn (Hamburg's famous red light district) and rock'n'roll - they just belong together. This band just needs a few notes for each song - a true hallmark of musical genius. You just cannot help but wonder where they have been over the last 30 years. But at the same time you're just glad they're here now.