Sounding dark and devious, as if he was perpetually pondering on a soapbox, ignored by all passerby’s, guitar in hand, preaching of the final days, and the lack of human immortality … in that who we are, and what we leave behind is a mere blurred vision of what we do and whom we effect. Essentially, Pop Crimes is flawless at painting a perverse and askew image of pop culture in all of its subversive faded glory, complete with covers by both Talk Talk (Life’s What You Make It) and Townes Van Zandt (Nothin'). He tenders nether of these songs as one might expect, but then Howard seldom did anything by the numbers, leaving us to cypher the reasoning behind these choices. Listening to Pop Crimes is no easy task, it’s painful, it’s heartbreaking, it’s tar on your new shoes from summer heated city streets and the lack of breathable air, laboriously rolling on and on, like a man searching his pockets over and over, knowing he’ll never have the correct change for the subway to take him someplace more bearable. If nothing else, Rowland S. Howard has managed to show us a presence, and in the world of rock n’ roll, that’s saying something.