Oscillating synths and funky Texan riffs, south London lot Honkies unveil a full throttle new EP.
Thoroughly now part of south London’s post-punk, country patter sprawl, Honkies have released the next step in their well oiled machine. A ramshackle of an EP, Hold Your Horses, It’s all kicking off for Honkies Vol. 1 features all the band’s previously released material, some re-recorded, with a couple of new tracks to boot.
The record itself gallops at a pace akin with the Minutemen and includes vocalist James Sutcliffe’s signature Hank Williams wails for the full 18 minutes or so. As shambolic as they come, the six track feature really does shine like the Arizona desert sun, incorporating full throttle tempos, oscillating synths and funky Texan riffs.
Opening track, Moving To Berlin, reminisces about being in a perpetual state of leaving London just as the Legendary Stardust Cowboy thought standing in a bin was the greatest thing imaginable. The drums never stop their rolling groove and the chords are strummed out faster than the Minutemen’s theme song for Jackass, Corona. Moving To Berlin is a re-record of a B side from their first single, more polished, less Lightning Bolt/ Coachwhips sounding. It works very well.
Then we revisit a live favourite, Kicking and Screaming, which has previously been released in its current form. You could listen to that riff for days and not get bored. It’s only made better by the car engine malfunction synth laid over the top.
Next track is Pagans, which was released on a split 7″ with south London rogues Peeping Drexels. This one is more like Stevie Moore covering The Cramps. It’s cute but also hellish, if that’s even possible.
Fragile, Gentrify Me and Seer, the final three tracks, are all new and continue the classic Honkies sound. There’s a reason other outlets have called them an institution. You know what you’re going to get and while that may seem like a bad thing, it’s definitely not. The record risks sounding samey at times but it really doesn’t matter. It’s a racket that will keep you pumped on a hillbilly meth concoction until the end.
Gentrify Me slows the pace somewhat but is just as bonkers as the rest of the track. Opening lyrics discussing something being inherently wrong with a GP because they won’t supply Sutcliffe with all the drugs he wants only further cements what we already knew about Honkies. Nothing will change them, and I don’t think anyone is moaning.
By Tom Johnson