Dirty Honey – Dirty Honey (Self Released)

For some, Dirty Honey have risen to prominence at lightning speed, but to many they’re still very much an unknown quantity with a handful of songs to their name. Little over a year ago, the LA four piece released their debut single, Fire Away, catapulting them into the eyes and ears of music’s elite, and opening doors that they could never have imagined. The first of these doors led to a tour with Slash and Myles Kennedy, the second, the opportunity to work with iconic producer Nick DiDia for their self-titled debut EP.

DiDia, whose CV speaks for itself, has amassed over $40million in sales since the early 90s, working artists such as Springsteen, Alice Cooper, Pearl Jam and Rage Against the Machine. With such an impressive body of work behind him, it comes as no surprised that Dirty Honey’s eponymous release is filled with big hooks, arena worthy choruses and a polished approach that many can only dream of.

With just five tracks to work with, the four piece waste no time getting started, as Marc Labelle’s brilliantly versatile vocals come screaming out of the speakers in When I’m Gone, in a track that is served dripping with all the venom of Guns ‘N’ Roses You Could Be Mine. With Labelle sharing similarities to Rose, John Notto does his best to emulate Slash, and he comes pretty damn close, with his searing solos showing that rock and roll is alive and well!

Like the opening track, Rolling 7s sees Dirty Honey give another nod to their heroes, with the ‘when you need a little lovin’’ chorus screaming of Aerosmith’s Love In The Elevator, in the best possible way. But, there is no sense that the Californians are out to copy anyone, instead a genuine sense of that they’re here to carry the torch of hard rock and give the genre a much needed kick up the arse, with their classic influences brought forward in a fresh, modern way.

While these numbers are truly exhilarating, it is Down The Road and Scars, where the record gets really interesting, with the band getting down and dirty with heavy blues riffs, and Labelle’s unique ability to effortlessly flicker between the pitch Axl Rose and the gravel of Eddie Vedder. Behind him, Notto is suitably brilliant, with the band’s rhythm section (Justin Smolian and Corey Coverstone) guiding the pair with watertight performances.

For years, the term ‘saviors of rock and roll’ has been handed out too easily, with very few in recent years, barring Rival Sons, getting anywhere close. But, with the backing Dirty Honey have from established stars and iconic producers, a major label is sure to come calling soon. If that happens, the potential of this band is infinite.