Friday, November 19, 2010

Honestly, The Honesty

I could say that I never expected to write about these guys, but I know that's not true. Sooner or later I'm pretty sure I'd have found out about them and given them the write-up they deserve, but I had no idea I'd run into them so quickly and be so impressed. Something about the sound that The Honesty come up with is so unique I can't really even put my finger on it. It's youthful and so full of life, and it's definitely a sound I want to hear more of.
The Honesty have the number one song on Purevolume this week, and after listening to "Intentions" (which features Joel Piper of Confide) it's not hard to see why. "Intentions" has a fantastic sound with a stick-in-your-head chorus and melody that has me humming along long after the song has ender. But I'm getting ahead of myself, let's cover the basics first. 
The story this week is The Honesty, a pop-punk quartet from Palm Springs, California. With the dynamic lineup of Tasha Gilbreath on lead vocals, Aaron Aparicio on guitar, Jeff Harber on guitar, and Mikey Davis on drums, The Honesty are rekindling a pop-oriented punk sound that seems to have been lost among the waves of techno-pop and post-grunge in the last few years, or at the very least the last few months. Even from the very first few seconds, everything about The Honesty's music is drenched in life and indeed attitude, and as the speakers pulse with their tunes and lyrics, a sonic tapestry technicolor in nature seems to materialize before my eyes. One thing I can tell about this band even before getting too far into their playlist is they approach their music from a different angle than so many other artists. But that's something that I love: anything that makes you different and unique can only help you in my opinion.
And now the bottom-line story. The Honesty, who formed in 2009 and have been honing their skills ever since, have a new EP out, and not only is it one they can be very proud of, but it's also up for a free entire download on Purevolume. If I were any of you guys out there, I'd run out and download it now (something I'm definitely going to do) because an amazing deal like this won't last for long. The new EP, titled The Thing We'll Never Know, is, if nothing else, a dynamic first punch at the record industry by The Honesty. "Intentions" features amazing guitar riffs by Aparicio and Harber alike, and the drumming by Davis drives the track through a tunnel of melody and rhythm in a way that seems to have become lost in the current music world. To push it over the top, Gilbreath's vocals are clean and clear, a soothing reminder that smooth and polished vocals can do as much hard-rock damage with as much attitude as coarse and growling screams. Stepping away from the Flyleaf-influenced harsh vocal setting, The Honesty, and indeed Gilbreath in particular, marry the smooth, melodic vocals of Meg & Dia and Paramore to the fretwork and rhythms of Boys Like Girls and Hit the Lights. 
Things continue with "The Reason." But this isn't the slow, moody track that you think of when you hear this title (a possible throwback to Hoobastank's 2005 song of the same title, though only in my opinion). With Gilbreath's vocals on top, Aparicio's and Harber's guitar work so well together that I can't pick one guitar from another, and the resulting riffs intermingle in the best way with Davis's rhythms. I particularly love the clever, sing-along lyrics here: it is most apparent that The Honesty put as much hard work into their writing as they do their instrumentation. Gilbreath's voice cuts through everything like a flame through ice, and as it comes through the speakers, the only thing I can think is that The Honesty have only just tapped the potential I know they are capable of. When you hear a group as cohesive and on their mark as The Honesty are, you just know, as I do, that they're destined for big things.   
The Things We'll Never Know is filled with incredible tracks like "On the Line (Follow Me)," which feature a fantastic group vocal and a harmony that the others might bristle with jealousy over, and "Sold My Soul to Radio," which demonstrates that The Honesty can be just as much attitude-driven as they can be melody-steered. The riff and palm-mutes on "Sold My Soul to Radio," as well as Gilbreath's breathy vocals, push The Honesty's EP higher than I could have ever imagined. With an EP like The Things We'll Never Know under their belts, The Honesty are on their way to the national stage, I can feel it. 
As "In the Shadows" plays for me in the background, I struggle to find words to end on. The Honesty have succeeded in totally and unexpectedly blowing my mind in the course of ten minutes. If they reach every one of their listeners and fans the way they have reached me today, the sky is the limit for them. I know we're going to be seeing great things from this group, and I'm more than a little excited to see just how much they have to offer. I'm sure we'll soon find out.  

Sounds Like: Paramore, Meg & Dia, Tegan and Sarah, Boys Like Girls

Key Tracks from The Things We'll Never Know: "Intentions," "The Reason," "Sold My Soul to Radio," "Warning!"

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