Best band you haven't heard yet
Jun Kamata | Greenville, SC | 10/05/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I first saw Danielle open for Ani DiFranco about 3 years ago. Since then I've seen her play solo acoustic and with her band, Danielle Howle & the Tantrums, many times. They never disappoint and neither does this CD.About To Burst is a great introduction to her music because about 1/2 of the songs feature her solo with her acoustic guitar and the other half are more rocking with the Tantrums. It's also good for those new to DH&T because it shows the various styles of music at which they are adept.From slow acoustic numbers like "Parlor", to playful songs like "Parakeet", alt-country-esque tunes like "World War Defense" and rockers like "Down". It's hard to categorize them for the purposes of a review, but that's one of the greatest things about them.They're based in Columbia, SC and their live shows are a lot of fun so if you are in the southeast, keep your eyes peeled for Danielle Howle & the Tantrums' shows."
Unclassifiable -- but fantastic
R. Edward Poole | Washington, DC | 12/11/2001
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Danielle Howle is a bit of a mystery -- at least to me. Her music is not easily pigeon-holed into a definable category -- by turns sweet and folky ("Spider Writer"), gentle and twangy ("World War Defense"), spritely and poppy ("Lonely Is A Word"), loud and rockin' ("Down"), and achingly meloncholy ("Red Candles") -- Danielle runs the gamut from solo acoustic folk to straight-ahead punk rock. If I were forced to drop a label on her work (and this CD in particular), I would put her in with other Alt-Country greats like Wilco -- or, perhaps with other indie singer songwriters like Ani DiFranco (who has asked Danielle to open her shows on several tours).A quick personal story illustrates Danielle's genre-bending craft: I first heard Danielle's music when Arlington Virginia's indie/punk record label Simple Machines Records released the "Frog" single in mid-1994 (featuring the amazing "Wrestling Song"). I lived near the Simple Machines / Tsunami home base, knew label co-founders (and Tsunami band-members) Jenny Toomey and Kristin Thomson socially, and, consequently, I picked up pretty much everything they released between 1992-95 (including Tsunami, Scrawl, The Mommyheads, Codeine, the Coctails, & etc.) Simple Machines' catalog was all over the place -- punk, alt/indie rock, acoustic music, jazzy pop, and more -- but, still, I wasn't prepared to hear Danielle erupt out of my speakers when I put the needle down on my latest Simple Machines purchase. The spare arrangement (acoustic guitar, bass, electric lead guitar at times), the bouncy melody, and -- above all -- Danielle's seemingly effortless singing, not quite beautiful in a classic sense, but emotional and engaging and soaring and personal. "The Wrestling Song" went on every mix tape I made for myself or friends for the next year or so (probably 30 tapes in all). I saw Danielle perform (solo, acoustic) several times in the next 2 years -- mostly opening for medium to big name punk rock bands at Washington, DC's premiere punk club (The Black Cat). I eagerly researched her prior recordings, but found only one CD by her former band, Lay Quiet Awhile (which is good, but burdened by over production which ruins the emotional directness of Danielle's other work).Needless to say, I was overjoyed when "About to Burst" was released -- and ecstatic when I first played the disc. All of her styles are here, delivered with feeling and intensity. Her songwriting has clearly matured -- many of these songs (especially "Red Candles," "Threatened" and "Evidence") are powerfully emotional.This CD is sure to appeal to a wide audience and it is a shame that Danielle doesn't have a higher profile (even though she has filled the opening act bill for such artists as Ani Difranco, Indigo Girls, Throwing Muses, Bob Dylan, Steve Earle, and Elliot Smith). Give this disc a spin -- you won't be disappointed. And, do not despair if you don't live in the south -- Danielle frequently plays shows in Washington, DC, Chicago, NYC, and, as the list above demonstrates, you may be able to catch her opening for various big-name acts.Oh, I almost forgot -- if you like this one, be sure to check out Danielle's other solo CD, "Catalog," and the Danielle Howle and the Tantrums' "Do A Two Sable.""