The ATL’s own Howling Star has a new single out, titled “Gin.” The group, comprised of Jewels Andrea on vocals, Von Phoenix on guitar, Jovan Lecaro on drums, and Lucas Wolf on bass, specializes in a brand of rock that is searingly authentic, something to get you dancing as you fight against injustice. “Gin” is a boisterous and blistering commentary on the gentrification that has been tearing communities apart, shredding the city like an old bank statement.
Crunchy guitar marches with a purpose into Howling Star’s world, with Jewels’s vocals, delivered courageously: brazen authenticity in the face of unjust authority, with the expected dose of outrage. Jewels hopscotches over internal and end rhymes, emphasizing and bringing to life the injustices hidden behind the gentrification of Atlanta and other cities. The lyrics address the process of gentrification that has been segregating portions of Atlanta’s population since around landlords stopped making repairs a priority, the costs of living outpaced quality of life, and people disconnected from their own communities (whether by choice or not). On guitar, Von towers above Jovan’s riotous percussion like skyscrapers over the high-poverty neighborhoods in Atlanta (which are triple in number what they were at the millennium), while Lucas powers through, a force that has nowhere to go but forward.
“Gin” flows forth with a strength that feels like a rushing current against bare shins. The song is one to keep close to your heart as you stand up, fist up, to the seemingly insuperable institutions that just don’t work. With “Gin,” Howling Star makes the will behind their message heard, and the word “will” carries much more certainty than the word “might.”