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Emerging band Dirty Honey to release new album

Daniel Prakopcyk
COURTESY OF DIRTY HONEY Dirty Honey is the only unsigned band to hit No. 1 on Billboard’s Mainstream Rock Chart.

American rock band Dirty Honey has been quick to win the hearts of many rock fans, and they are just getting started. Dirty Honey will release their self-titled debut album Friday.

After releasing their debut EP in 2019, Dirty Honey began their rise in popularity opening for names such as Guns ’N Roses, Slash, and The Who. Successful from the beginning, they are the first and only unsigned artist to reach No. 1 on Billboard’s Mainstream Rock Chart with the single “When I’m Gone.” The band has four members: Marc LaBelle on vocals, John Notto on guitar, Justin Smolian on bass, and Corey Coverstone on drums.

Dirty Honey experienced some setbacks last year when trying to record the new album. The United States was locked down because of COVID-19 just a day before the band was supposed to record in Australia. They were able to overcome that obstacle and recorded the tracks in Los Angeles while still working with their producer who was overseas.

I knew that if Dirty Honey’s new album is anything like their 2019 EP, it would be worth every second, and it definitely does not disappoint. The singles from the album of eight tracks include “California Dreamin,’” “Tied Up,” and “Gypsy,” all of which are great examples that represent the energy and upbeat nature of the whole album. The other five tracks can certainly hold their own, and there is not a weak song on the album. It is everything I expected and more with clever lyrics and catchy riffs to epic drum parts and soaring bass lines. Every member of the band brought their all, and it is easy to hear the soul each of them brought to their playing. 

The album’s first track “California Dreamin’” tells more about The Golden State than meets the eye. Coupled with a clever video, this song is an excellent opener for the rest of the album. I was already familiar with “Tied Up,” as I have seen a version of the song online from a live performance. I was excited to see what they would do with the song in the studio, and they surpassed my expectations. As with several songs on the album, it is really the backing vocals that make the song. The closing bars of “Tied Up” especially turned my head when the vocals were isolated for a strong ending. 

All eight tracks were superbly mixed and mastered, and each wonderfully showcased the group’s personality. My personal favorite, the album’s final track is a ballad that reimagines the style and meaning of what makes a power ballad. 

“Another Last Time” begins with a bluesy intro of just guitar and the expressiveness brings the listener directly into the story of a love gone wrong. The song adds keyboards to give a different color to the track, and the background vocals shine through and add to the song. “Another Last Time” gives the album closure while simultaneously making the listener want more. 

Dirty Honey always does well lyrically and paints the picture of each song while still allowing the listener’s own interpretation. LaBelle’s vocal abilities lend themselves to the expressiveness and feel of the group’s music.

Overall, the album is full of memorable riffs and excellent performance. The album is only about 30 minutes in length, but it goes by in an instant with each rocker. Like Dirty Honey’s EP, their new album gives a nod to classic rock with their own spin to that bluesy sound that has held true through generations. 

I cannot recommend this album enough to rock fans, and I am looking forward to seeing whatever Dirty Honey does next. 

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