In 2019 things were on the up for the independent LA quartet Dirty Honey; their debut single ‘When I’m Gone’ topped the Billboard Mainstream Rock charts, they toured with Alter Bridge, Guns n Roses, and The Who and sold out their first headline tour in the first two months of 2020 but then covid reared its ugly head put life on hold. Finally things are opening up again and their debut album Dirty Honey is out, and its sound is firmly rooted in 1970s rock.
Dirty Honey is one of the many Classic Rock revivalists plying their trade nowadays – with Greta Van Fleet, Massive Wagons, and The Struts other notable examples. Despite the genres’ well-worn familiarity, there is still life in it, and tracks like ‘California Dreaming’ with its slinky melody and sky-high chorus prove this. If that and the Aerosmith-like riff and soulful, finger-snapping harmonies of ‘Tied Up’ are anything to go by, they are quickly developing a knack for crafting hooky earworms. Alongside the tight, Black Crowes-loving bar room rock vocalist Marc LaBelle has an impressive set of pipes on him, he can hit those high notes with a bluesy panache.
This combination is in full flow in ‘Another Last Time’, a wistful ballad with a Southern Rock flavour and a sweet sense of melody. Dirty Honey is a decent statement of intent from an up-and-coming band but at 30 minutes it is too short, and too many tracks lack the hooks and the staying power to rise above the genre trappings. ‘The Wire’ is punchy but otherwise standard, AC/DC type fare, as is the case in ‘No Warning’ with it’s crunching chords and the cries of “I’m living for the night”. The penultimate track ‘The Morning’ is de rigueur Hard Rock lifted slightly by John Notto’s fiery solo.
Dirty Honey’s eponymous debut is a promising collection of sleekly made Classic Rock that fans of Aerosmith, AC/DC and The Black Crowes will like.
Buy the album here: https://www.dirtyhoney.com/
6 / 10