REVIEW BY JMM
Dirty Honey’s “Can’t Find the Brakes” is a tour de force in modern rock ‘n’ roll, showcasing the band’s evolution and reaffirming their status as one of the most promising acts in the genre. Scheduled for release on November 3, this album is a dynamic and exhilarating journey that encapsulates the essence of Dirty Honey’s musical prowess.
“Can’t Find the Brakes” arrives on the heels of their breakout single “Won’t Take Me Alive,” which has already climbed to the Top 20 at U.S. rock radio and earned an A-listing at Planet Rock in the UK. This early success sets the stage for what promises to be an album of remarkable distinction.
The recording process for “Can’t Find the Brakes” is a notable departure from their self-titled 2019 debut. In response to the pandemic, Dirty Honey had to record their debut album via Zoom, with the band in Los Angeles and producer Nick DiDia in Australia. However, this time around, they were able to spend a full month in the studio with DiDia in Australia, creating a more intimate and collaborative environment. This hands-on approach resulted in an album that feels deeply connected, raw, and resonates with authenticity.
Vocalist Marc LaBelle noted the impact of physically being in the studio with the producer, describing it as a creative and focused environment. It allowed the band to delve into their music with dedication and depth, avoiding the rush that often accompanies studio work. This intimate collaboration with DiDia shines through in every note and lyric of “Can’t Find the Brakes.”
The album’s title, “Can’t Find the Brakes,” speaks to the band’s non-stop lifestyle as touring musicians. It’s a reflection of the relentless pace of their lives, a never-ending journey from one city to another. The question it poses, “Even if you could find the brakes, would you really want to?” serves as a metaphor for the unceasing pursuit of their musical dreams.
The addition of Jaydon Bean as the band’s drummer has injected new life into Dirty Honey’s sound. As an a cappella singer with a background in vocal harmonies, his contribution, especially to the harmonies, has added a fresh layer of depth and texture to the band’s music. It’s evident that his willingness to explore songwriting without judgment has been instrumental in shaping the album.
“Coming Home,” “Don’t Put Out the Fire,” “You Make it Alright,” and “Rebel Son” are highlighted as standout tracks by the band members themselves. “Won’t Take Me Alive” is described as one of the most kick-ass, aggressive, and bad-ass rock songs they’ve ever written, setting a high bar for the album. The tracks collectively expand the band’s musical territory, injecting a newfound energy into their sound.
The album cover art, hand-painted by graffiti artist Kelly “RISK” Gravel, is a visual representation of Dirty Honey’s ethos. Known for his iconic work in the Los Angeles art scene, RISK has captured the band’s rock vibe, which he describes as “organized chaos,” in his artwork. It is a striking and fitting visual companion to the music within.
Now, let’s delve into the tracklist:
- “Don’t Put Out the Fire” (5:04) – The album kicks off with a fiery, anthemic track. With its extended runtime, it serves as an epic introduction to the musical journey ahead.
- “Won’t Take Me Alive” (3:42) – The standout single, this song doesn’t waste any time, launching into a high-octane rock assault from the get-go. It’s a sonic statement of intent.
- “Dirty Mind” (4:00) – The band’s sonic prowess shines through on this track, with a gritty edge and infectious melody.
- “Roam” (4:16) – This track’s extended duration allows for exploration and musical evolution, making it a rich and dynamic piece.
- “Get A Little High” (3:12) – With a shorter runtime, this track delivers a punchy, energetic burst of rock ‘n’ roll.
- “Coming Home (Ballad of the Shire)” (3:15) – A change of pace, this ballad adds depth and emotion to the album, showcasing Dirty Honey’s ability to craft soulful and moving music.
- “Can’t Find the Brakes” (3:03) – The eponymous track of the album, it encapsulates the essence of the band’s fast-paced, unrelenting journey in the music industry.
- “Satisfied” (3:36) – A mid-tempo track with a powerful melody and an infectious groove.
- “Ride On” (2:59) – A concise, high-energy track that doesn’t overstay its welcome.
- “You Make It All Right” – A compelling closing track that leaves a lasting impression.
In summary, Dirty Honey’s “Can’t Find the Brakes” is a testament to the band’s growth, dedication, and unwavering commitment to rock ‘n’ roll. The album captures the essence of their unique journey as touring musicians and the challenges that come with it. With a diverse set of tracks, from high-energy rock anthems to soulful ballads, the album offers a comprehensive listening experience.
“Can’t Find the Brakes” is more than just a collection of songs; it’s a musical narrative of the band’s life and artistic evolution. Dirty Honey’s future in rock music is undeniably bright, and this album is a testament to their potential. On November 3, rock enthusiasts around the world are in for a treat as Dirty Honey releases an album that will undoubtedly be remembered as a defining moment in their career.