Wharf Cat Records

HONEY - Love Is Hard LP

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Although this Brooklyn trio is probably too goddamn youthful to care what the hell I'm talking about, there's a consistent vibe to their debut album that puts me in mind of great Cleveland bands of the last century -- from The Mirrors to Friction to Death of Samantha and onward. Something about the way Dan Wise's guitar mixes with both his singing, and that of Cory Feierman's, reminds me of naught but a Lake Erie fish fry. And the rhythm section, with Cory on bass and Will Schmiechen on drums, bears down on these twinned howls in a way that makes it possible to catch whiffs of the Dead Boys at their sharpest. 

Perhaps this geographical anomaly results from the fact that Honey's line-up contains two veterans of the Wisconsin Dells water park scene and a native New Yorker, creating a mutant hybrid Ohioan in the process. But that is just theory. 
The reality is that these guys are punching a lot straighter and harder than they did with previous units they've been in, and the results are a loud and royal blast. You still get a soupçon of sophisto texture deep in the interior of some of the tunes' architecture, but the main trajectory of the material has a brutalist immediacy. There are even parts where Coryʼs voice conjures up a bellow recalling the long- gone Wolf King of Lodi. But all the tunes hit your head like a fox terrier shot from a bazooka. 

This is a great, hard-edged slice of rock noise that blazes with a light far more forthright than I'd dared expect. How very fucking cool is that? --Byron Coley