Brooklyn’s musicians have undoubtedly marked their city as a breeding ground for creativity. Granted, New York has always been a hub of artists and would-be artists, but there’s been an undeniable surge of fantastic, new musicians. That said, there’s a trio of punk-rockers hoping to sink Brooklyn straight into the ground with their monstrous, soundwave weapons –their name is Honey. While the band is relatively young, having just released their second full-length, New Moody Judy, the musicians have been involved in other projects before. Prior training, mixed with perfect chemistry has forged one of the most thrilling sounds yet. If you’re not a believer, prepare to be converted —New Moody Judy is one hell of a surprising release.
With its barebone, punk vibe; guitar, hefty percussion, and shouted vocals, New Moody Judy is pretty good –and there’s not that much more to it than that. Honey’s sophomore release is a modern re-envisioning of stoner rock a la Fu Manchu. The album manages to encompass a solid range, from fast paced rhythms to droned out rock. Toss in some sweet solos and New Moody Judy is one nasty variety show.
Honey opens strong with, “Wage Agreement.” The track features a guitar line that sounds like a surf-rock inspired wipeout. The strings lazily wrap around a would be Dick Dale riff, and then burst with energy in a slew of notes. It’s like a slow, hungover start to the album –and then the follow-up comes. “Dream Come Now” dishes out an unnecessarily large serving of whoop-ass. The strings are set free, they rip into your veins and fill you with adrenaline. The percussion mimics a stampede. The vocals attack and recess with perfect balance. It’s an overwhelmingly good rush.
The album chugs onward with a consistent fury –Honey declares their badassery with each passing track. An interlude breaks up the nonstop-rush, and then, “Hungry,” begins. Guitars wail like lightning rushing through the sky, the percussion thunders –cracking Earth’s crust. The band takes New Moody Judy as their canvas and rips it up with soundwaves. The vocals begin, resonating along fuzzed out instrumentals. “Hungry” enters a lull, allowing you to catch your breath. The band builds in several steps before closing with a second, short rush. When you think it’s over, you’re finally safe, and you can relax, Honey’s singer comes screaming through –the instrumentals return with just as much energy. “Bagman” continues to push the limits.
My favorite part of New Moody Judy was also my least favorite part. In Honey’s attempt to sustain such incredible speed, playing and melody with an incredible fury –they forget to make songs truly unique. Sure, there’s some variety in composition, enough to break the monotony up –but when boiled down to memory, the album blends together. New Moody Judy is remarkably good, inducing a massive burst of adrenaline with each passing track. The rush is fantastic and like any good rush, more will always be welcome –but after a little too much, you just won’t remember it. And that’s the problem, as much as I enjoyed daydreaming about my Mad Max fantasies while listening to the electrifying riffs of New Moody Judy –I just couldn’t really remember anything that stood out after the album finished.
As the big distorted dream nears closer to the end, “Power” makes its mark with a nasty guitar solo that seemingly never ends, and “Wage Too” chugs forward with a barrage of sound. The album’s eight-minute closer is the fastest track to drag on that I’ve ever heard –and that’s not so bad. Overall, the album holds together extremely well as a fantastic listen, but I’m not sure there’s a ‘hit’ to be heard.
At the same time, Honey’s New Moody Judy is a must listen for punk rockers –period. Honey is a genuine throwback to the 80s/90s and features some of the best stoner rock that I’ve welcomed into my library –you should probably bring it into yours as well. Honey’s tremendously loud and fast slew of instrumentals mixed with well balanced, properly screaming, and sometimes even droning vocals will win you over. Ordering a la carte is a mistake —New Moody Judy is best as a full experience.