Where did country music go wrong? Where did it go right? Did it ever go left? The answer to these questions and more will (probably not) be found on this album from Manchester based lo-fi, and Nashville vandalising, band Honk. The album is called “Grand Opening” and, unless my eyes deceive me, it has actually been released on an orange cassette.
Even in the 21st century, I suppose all pickup trucks will still have cassette players but whether the check shirt wearers of downtown Texas will honk their horn to this album is indeed a question that needs to be answered. Perhaps. After all, there’s a slide guitar in there as well as a manic line dancing four on the floor beat that, along with the permanently distorted vocals, will make you believe that shellac is the only true medium to capture a song and it’s just too loud and untidy for the radio (which is a good thing in my book).
So, while you won’t find anything resembling the smoothly polished irony of a modern day Nashville band anywhere in this cacophony of thudding drums and bent to breaking point guitar strings, you might instead find the perfect soundtrack to your drink sodden Friday night and, as a bonus, you don’t even need to own a pickup truck to sing along with a Honk song.
Drink and be merry for tomorrow will be full of memories of cheating women, hard drinking men and getting arrested for being drunk and disorderly. Bet Hank Williams never started a fight in a kebab shop in Oldham.
Best song: The drawling “Let The Dog See The Rabbit”
Verdict: Honk if you want to keep on truckin’