Album: Pleasure Delayer
Label: Made of Stone Recordings
Release Date: 18/09/2020
Looking back for a minute, we take some time to discuss Honeybadger and their debut full-length album Pleasure Delayer, which was released on September 18th.
If you aren’t familiar with Honeybadger, the band hail from Athens, Greece and play a blend of desert, stoner and hard rock with blues influences thrown in. They formed back in 2014 and had their first release back in 2017 with their debut EP The Rain. The band’s primary influences are cited as being Queens of the Stone Age, Monster Magnet and Clutch and I have to agree with all three of these, but also add to their list Them Crooked Vultures.
Honeybadger is Dimitris V (vocals and guitars), Dimitris G (guitars), Dimitris Y (bass), VaGG O (drums and percussion).
On the whole, the album is a truly fun listen. In total the release is made up of 8 tracks and comes in at 34 minutes, so you get a fairly solid offering from the guys with this one. While there are plenty of hard rock influences present, the aforementioned desert rock rhythms, bluesy atmosphere and stoner rock elements really help to keep things interesting and add some great groove influences to the album.
Dimitri V gives us a solid vocal performance, the man was basically born to sing rock music with a voice that is able to easily belt out the bands lyrics; which cover topics ranging from wolves, driving at speed and drinking to the deaths of TV show characters among other topics. As I mentioned this album is very much a rock album, the overall sound and themes fall cleanly within that category. However, its the bluesy soulfulness of Dimitris’s voice that gives the band a lot of its swagger, its one of the elements that separates the band from other hard rock outfits with similar instrumental styles.
Guitarwise we get a good mix of riffage from Dimitries G and V. While parts of the album’s guitar work fall neatly into the hard rock category, what really keeps my attention are the high energy, bouncing desert rock segments and the groovy stoner rock elements. Aside from those its the blues heavy sections that add a large amount of the band’s atmosphere and swagger.
What really stands out about the album’s sound though is the way that the guitar works in tandem with the Dimitri Y’s bass work (which abounds on this album). The band are capable of writing some pretty catchy hooks and riffs and if you take anything away from the album it will probably be one of those that get stuck in your head. In fact its the catchiness and overall grooviness of the album that truly makes the band worth your time.
So as I mentioned before, the album is bass heavy, with Dimitri Y laying it on thick underneath the albums guitar work. I say under, but it could be over, either way its high in the mix and is a driving force on the release. Last but not least we have VaGG O on drums who gives us a solid rock offering, really picking things up on the desert rock segments of the album.
As far as standout tracks go, the album’s opener, The Wolf is a steeped in bluesy swagger and some some really catchy riffage going on. Track 3 Crazy Ride is another song with some bluesy swagger, but Dimitri V really belts out some powerful chords on this one. Track 6 Laura Palmer has some great riffs and truly memorable drum work. Track 7 Holler is a truly enjoyable listen with some great desert rock rhythms and just enough fuzz.
While those are proabbly my top 4 on the album, the whole thing is a great listening experience. While the band may not be re-inventing the genre, they focus on the elements that they do best and create a truly catchy, groovy album here with some great riffs and powerful vocals.
Listen to the full album below: