Honest Men EP
The greatest artists in the history of American music, and all music for that matter, have always been the storytellers; the songwriters who can literally snatch us from reality and take us on a journey of their own magical creation. Texas-based Honest Men have definitely established themselves alongside some of the best in the game today with their new EP, Honest Men, which is due out on May 25, 2018. Despite grinding out six songs in an Austin studio on a limited budget, their latest recording offers a very sophisticated sound that can stand up to anything on the Billboard Top 40 this year. And with their zealous brand of garage rock revival meets electro pop, you can bet they’re going to bring the house down in any context that they’re place in.
The story of the Honest Men EP starts with a rollicking guitar blaring out of the feedback of an FM radio in the single (and first track) “Mad Love,” and emerging from the noise comes the lustrous vocal of Seth Findley, timed out almost robotically with the furious percussion of drummer Zach Solomon. “You’re needing some peace of mind,” he repeatedly insists in the bridge, as if to speak to all the chaos of the static between the stations that is not unlike our own hearts sometimes. A sizzling guitar solo follows, and it’s like we’re blazing across the white-capped surf of Miami Beach on a tepid summer evening. With a shake and a twist we shift focus and jump into “Lose My Head,” where Findley strikes a defiant blow into other pretentious pop singers with his massive vocal range. “I’m taking all the cheap shots/I feel the fever from within” he sings with feverish anticipation as the band lurks in the background, ready to pounce as we ascend back into the chorus. The weight of trust, friendship and emotional restraint finds an easy release when axe man Brooks Whitehurst steps back into the front with another solo, and it starts to feel like we’re listening to a musical proclamation of freedom.
YOU TUBE: www.youtube.com/watch?v=vPoPcUDWv4s
“I’m Okay” bounces between your headphones with an exuberance that is as 80’s as a John Hughes movie, but in the best way. It also makes for a fitting single from this EP, demonstrating just how funky and danceable HonestMen can get. On the flipside, “I’m Okay” is immediately followed up by the subdued sonnet “Rose,” that uses a futuristic backdrop of synthesizers and velvet-smooth vocals to create a romantic, endearing picture of two soulmates for us. Findley’s sincerity oozes from the microphone and is well matched by his band, who meticulously add additional shades of color to the ballad, including an intoxicating bassline from Nate Wallace. “Lacy Lake,” a letter of commitment wrapped in a punky groove that borders on clubby in its beat, is a well-placed follow up track, continuing the theme of deeper love started by the band in “Rose.” Things come to a swirling, ethereal conclusion of the final song “Sam,” a gripping elder’s perspective of the father-son dynamic that opens with an entrancing guitar lick that will leave anyone with an ear for music feeling totally mesmerized.
When it’s all said and done and the record player comes to poignant stop, there’s no question that Honest Men may not be the only indie band in Texas looking to top the charts, but they certainly have the best chance of any of their contemporaries.