Honky: Corduroy (Housecore Records)
A bearded Texas three-piece playing booty shaking boogie music? Yeah yeah I know there aren't many bands that can successfully try and compete with Dusty, Frank and The Reverend Willy G but Honky are out to at least bask in the reflected glory by playing the same kind of swaggering Texan blues rock as The Top with the Southern Trendkill of Pantera thrown in to make sure your hips are shaking and your teeth get kicked in. Honky are no amateurs either they've been doing this stuff since 1996 and Corduroy is the bands 7th record, at this late stage they aren't going to change their formula, the band call themselves Superboogie and that is what they do, moving away from the heaviness that infected their previous records, the general mood is more upbeat and laid back, think Texan BBQ with a side order of sunshine, beer and a mountain of reefer.
Honky is made up of guitarist Bobby 'Ed' Landgraf (Down, Gahdzilla Motor Company), Michael ‘Night Train’ Brueggen (Blackula) on drums and band mastermind/bassist/vocalist J.D Pinkus (Butthole Surfers), his Texan drawl and blue collar hollar are a key part of Honky's traditional sound, but behind the waves of big riffage, squealing leads and Redneck bravado, the band do a stock-in-trade for intelligent often funny lyrics with theme of this record to have a damn good time, hell they even chuck in Pat Travers' Snortin' Whiskey as the album draws to a close. At the top of the record though is the fuzzy title track, the parping brass runs through Outta Season, then as we go through the Southern rock builds until I Don't Care brings things back to country after the cover, with oddness returning on an all vocals version of Zeppelin's Moby Dick named Mopey Dick. Corduroy is Honk doing what they do, they will never change and more power to them, this is good shit. 8/10
Svartanatt: Svartanatt (The Sign Records)
Right you know the drill Swedish, retro, 60's and 70's loving rock with funky riffs, lots of organs, no complications, no B.S just honest good old fashioned hard rock. Svartanatt have swirling psych, an analogue sound, righteous drum fills, groove bass breaks, big stabs of organs, clean flowing guitars and howling vocals and that's just on Times Are Changing, a bit of 60's balladry creeps in on Thunderbirds Whispering Winds, there's a Deep Purple break in Nightman and it's all just been done before and again, there's nothing to make this stand out from the retro rock pack. For completists it's worth listening to but there are so many bands making this style of music fresh and exciting unfortunately Svartanatt aren't. 4/10
Fake Idols: Witness (Scarlet Records)
Witness is the second full length from Italian melodic heavy rockers Fake Idols and their first for Scarlet records. The press release makes it known that the band is made up of ex-members of such bands like Raintime, Slowmotion Apocalypse and Jar Of Bones, which means precisely Sweet F.A to me as I have no idea who any of these bands are. Still that does mean I can be objective in this review as I have no past glories to compare it too. Luckily the album is chock full of modern hard rock songs that full of muscular hook and heavy riffs, it has distinctly modern flavour of bands like Papa Roach, Skillett and even Shinedown. For an Italian band they seem to have good contacts as Motorhead's Phil Campbell adds guitar to the albums fastest track on the record Mad Fall and they are not adversed to cover either as on this record they tackle The Chemical Brother's Go which works surprisingly well in a hard rock style. Fake Idols are a good band and write some great songs, if you didn't know you'd think they were from the US such is their radio bothering songcraft. If you like your rock with a touch of heaviness and heap of melody then Witness is well worth exploring. 7/10