Released on April 23, 2021 (Dirt Records)
Dirty Honey burst onto the scene in 2019 with their self-titled EP, landing the California band the #1 spot on Billboard’s Mainstream Rock charts with “When I’m Gone” and a second release, “Rolling 7’s”. Receiving tons of airplay, coverage, and praise, the EP was a huge success for a fledgling band like Dirty Honey. Based on that, we were all eagerly looking forward to a full-length offering.
Dirty Honey is a real rock album, and I’m hearing influences like Led Zeppelin, Black Crowes, Aerosmith, and other classic ’70s blues rock. Contemporary comparisons could be made to Greta Van Fleet, The Answer, Electric Boys, KAATO / The Scent…. just summertime feel good rock n’ roll.
Kicking off with the first single “California Dreamin’” — not a cover of the Mamas & Papas’ tune from ‘66 — Dirty Honey provide a great springboard for what to expect with the other seven tracks. “The Wire” boasts a simple but catchy guitar riff and a sing along chorus. And “Tied Up” offers more of the same. John Notto’s guitar lines are clean, catchy, and more complicated than they sound.
Although there are overtones of Zeppelin, Audioslave and even Badlands in “Take My Hand”, the production reduces its impact somewhat. This is still a strong track, but the powerful riff is diminished… some would say to make the heaviest song on the album “fit in” with the other seven. “Gypsy” and “No Warning” are interesting in their own right, with powerful vocals from the genetically modified child of Robert Plant and Steven Tyler — Marc LaBelle. Closing the album is “Another Last Time”, a soaring, bluesy, slower track reminding me of vintage Black Crowes.
A strong contender for my yearly top five list, Dirty Honey play a style of breezy, natural rock n’ roll. They wear their influences proudly, without trying to be those bands they admire. While Dirty Honey is ostensibly a full-length album, its eight tracks clock in at less than 30 minutes. Like the old saying goes, “Always leave them wanting more” I guess. No matter, this album is great fun and a solid listen from start to finish, and I’m definitely left wanting more.
01. California Dreamin’
02. The Wire
03. Tied Up
04. Take My Hand
06. No Warning
07. The Morning
08. Another Last Time
Marc LaBelle – lead vocals
John Notto – guitars
Justin Smolian – bass
Corey Coverstone – drums
Reviewed by Metal Mike for Sleaze Roxx, April 2021
Dirty Honey‘s “California Dreamin’” video:
The official music video for “California Dreamin'” by Dirty Honey. Listen to “California Dreamin'” → https://orcd.co/californiadreaminListen / Buy the debut …