Friday, March 1, 2024

Dirty Honey – Can’t Find The Brakes

The crestfallen almost torch song delivery that vocalist Marc LaBelle opens ‘Don’t Out The Fire’ with soon changes tack as the band come in, rocking out like Humble Pie with some much-missed Stones swagger. It’s a song of promises and needs, an ass-shaking early evening groove-on, but, overall, a mood setter not a stand-up and listen to me balls-out front scene setter. To 20 US rock radio hit ‘Won’t Take me Alive’ is where that starts getting delivered. Up tempo, funking down on the bass while choppy riffs and squealing guitars give it their all, it’s like Aerosmith but if Joe Perry had paid more attention to what Jeff Beck did after he left The Yardbirds.

Suitably sleazily slow and dipped in the blues is ‘Dirty Mind’ ready to fills the next stripper’s slot left open, save where John Notto stretches out in fast-paced solo. Things settle down for rock ballad ‘Roam’ with LaBelle’s wailing high-pitched vocals supported by harmonious backing. Just like it reads on the tin, ‘Get A Little High’ jumps into urgent action, bass player Justin Smolian and new drummer Jaydon Bean propelling the rhythmic changes as gears shift heading out with a certain Zeppelin aplomb, LaBelle and Notto adding excitement and vitality along the way.

Placed neatly for a change of pace, is acoustic ballad ‘Coming Home (Ballad Of The Shire)’ followed by title track ‘Can’t Find The Brakes’ that moves like a car cruising round the tracks, picking up speed here and there, with some added AOR harmonies in tow. Following nicely, at a heavy-bass trundle is ‘Satisfied’ getting both funkier and more gospel-like here and there. Guitars come writ large as ‘Ride On’ rocks in, latching into another suitable dance groove.

‘You Make It All Right’ is another slower paced number, with something of a country rock flavour with an organ added to the musical mix. The album concludes with ‘Rebel Son’ a sensual shuffle that takes its sweet time to branch out over heavy-oozing riffs and shorter harmonies, a sense of urgency suddenly appearing around two and-a-half-minutes in, only to ease back on the pedal as organ and piano come in, the latter taking up a boogie figure, getting funkier and ultimately rockier as they expand any perceived mission statement.

Can’t Find The Brakes shakes like a good rock album should. The improvement in songs and sound is incremental, albeit not nothing that truly shifts them into another league. But that’s how records used to be; bands allowed to develop at their own pace. ‘Rebel Son’ might point the way towards a more Zeppelin-like grandeur, me I’m happy with the way they’ve expanded beyond their Aerosmith does Bad Company remit. Not a bad track here, all will get replayed, the future continues to look bright and rock’s in safe hands here.

Can’t Find The Brakes is available by clicking here.

Paul H Birch
Paul H Birch
RAMzine Senior Writer - Writer of fiction, faction and fact, has edited several newsstand magazines. He declares himself a hack for hire but refuses to compromise on the subject of music.

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