Dirty Honey: The Buzz
By: Miss K
Dirty Honey is just one of the modern bands of the explosive rock-n-roll revival in Los Angeles, but they have arguably had the most success. Despite still being unsigned, Dirty Honey has broken records by having their debut single “When I’m Gone” become not only a Top 10 hit but also made number one on the mainstream rock charts. While I have heard numerous modern rock bands from LA, Dirty Honey is a catalyst for success despite not having an album or label. Their self-titled debut EP was released in 2019 and it simply rocks!
“When I’m Gone” is appropriately the opener. It instantly hooks you into this ride of the past – or perhaps future – of rock n roll. There is a huge 70s and 80s influence in their sound, but Dirty Honey takes the past and repackages it for a new generation. “When I’m Gone” is an anthem and a great start to launch their sound from.
Marc Labelle the singer of Dirty Honey claims they “don’t want to bring anything back, we just want to make music that’s sexy, hard and rocking all at the same time.” It just so happens that the music they are inspired by has the same characteristics. Dirty Honey brings these characteristics and carries them forward into the modern rock scene. Despite the influence being prevalent, Dirty Honey has their own attitude, an aspect that is shown on their track “Rolling 7’s”. The song amazingly has nearly two million views on YouTube. It is a very catchy second track and carries the flow from the opener very cohesively, and the volume cranks. It is a simple but true observation, not opinion, that Dirty Honey knows how to write a catchy rock-n-roll tune.
Every song on the EP is catchy, addictive with an instant hook. “Heartbreaker” captures a strong highlight for the band: John Notto the guitarist is an all-wonder on the guitar. The sound of Dirty Honey is manipulated by the groove, the flow, the catchy hooks and riffs. The guitar solo on “Heartbreaker” is a great part of the song. Notto is clearly inspired and influenced by the rock sounds of the 70s and 80s, yet it is a refreshing sound, too.
“Down the Road” shows a more mellow side of the band. It is a rock ballad straight from the 80s yet it has a very modern feel. Despite being a new song, it is filled with reflections of nostalgia and reminds me of another song I can't quite recall. It is wonderful in that sense. Labelle has traces of Axl Rose and Robert Plant in his voice, but more importantly his own voice shines through the most. As much as I enjoy the rocker tunes, I would argue Labelle’s strongest vocals on the EP are on “Down the Road” regarding dynamic, emotion, range. The groove is fantastic and it is an amazing song.
However, the rock kicks back in quickly on the next track. “Scars” has a heavier sound and is, naturally, another catchy anthem with a strong groove. The lyrics are charming – “Well I ain’t a judge or a priest” is brilliant in its seemingly simplicity. The chorus is catchy, easy to memorize, easy to sing along to. It is honest rock-n-roll with powerful no-nonsense drumming and again the powerful groove that drives the song.
“Break You” is a bonus track on the vinyl press of the EP. It has the same feel of anthem rock-n-roll – that is, very powerful, determined, and loud in confidence and attitude. It finishes the EP just as strongly as “When I’m Gone” started it. It is intriguing and infectious, exhibiting all of Dirty Honey’s strongest aspects.
The self-titled EP exhibits a strong, determined and powerful band. Despite being unsigned, Dirty Honey has built a name for themselves in the scene and I believe have the potential to keep climbing to the top of the charts. Their rock-n-roll anthems are simply too catchy to be ignored. The EP only builds more excitement for the future music of Dirty Honey and their future success, even as their prospective journey has just begun.
Dirty Honey by Dirty Honey is available on all major streaming sites