Almost Honest – The Hex Of Penn’s Woods

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Cumberland, Pennsylvania is home to Almost Honest, a band that blends the sounds of many genres, including Doom, Stoner Metal, Hard Rock, Alt Rock, and more into their ultra catchy songs. They also utilize their Pennsylvania Dutch heritage, the local folklore, and a strong imagination for creating their own myths and creatures/cryptids. This is shown heavily on their upcoming album for Argonauta Records, which is due out in just a few short weeks.

Artist: Almost Honest

Release Name: The Hex Of Penn’s Woods

Release Date: November 24th, 2023

Location: Pennsylvania, USA

Genres: Stoner Rock, Doom, Alt Rock, Hard Rock, Heavy Metal

Label: Argonauta Records and Electric Talon Records.

Written By: Tom Hanno of Tom’s Reviews

One of the things that I love is to see a band who adds an educational twist to their lyrical content, bands like Church Of Misery and Macabre write about the exploits of serial killers, Telesterion places their focus on The Eleusinian Mysteries from Ancient Greece, while the Power Metal practitioners of Sabaton focus on the conflicts of world history. Almost Honest adds to this by using the myth and folklore of their home, and by creating some of their own. The band says that,

“We sang about folklore and myths, but what if we created our own creatures, or delved way deeper into the history and culture of Pennsylvania. That’s what you will find lyrically on this record. We did historical research, genealogical research, we traveled, we explored inside ourselves, we brought our emotions to the forefront in order to bring this album to life.”

An example of this is the song, “Laughter Of The Deer Owl”, which features Crobot singer Brandon Yeagley during the chorus sections. The Deer Owl is a creature conceived of by the band, and is depicted on the cover art. It is a creature that holds all of the knowledge in the universe, but only appears to people who have lost everything, up to and including the will to live. The Deer Owl will show them the secrets of the universe before it eventually kills them, so you don’t want to meet one in person.

The music for this track is excellent, giving us hard rocking riffs, catchy melodies, and excellent vocal performances. There is also a strong groove that flows throughout, keeping my head bobbing and my feet moving for its entire runtime. In fact, it’s so good that I’ll find myself singing it in my head hours after listening.

Another song I feel is exceptional is the album’s opener,  “Mortician Magician”. It begins with what I feel is rockabilly influenced drums, and that feel is accentuated when the vocals come on. I think what I love best is that this track has a little bit of everything that Almost Honest is good at, and that mix hits hard in all of the right ways.

“Amish Hex” was the lead single and video, and much like “Laughter Of The Deer Owl”, this song has incredible melodies and an outstanding vocal performance, and I find myself humming it for hours after hearing it. They apply a solid sense of groove, and songwriting that pulls from 1970s hard rock, making this one of the best tracks on the record.

Other Standout Tracks: Every track is a standout, so don’t get bogged down by thinking that there are weaker songs … because there aren’t. But if I was pressed for an answer, “Haunted Hunter”, “Alien Spiders”, and  “Ballad Of A Mayfly” and the ones mentioned above would be my choices.

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