While I am usually a huge proponent of complex musical genius, it’s hard to ignore the brilliance of a simple (and kick-ass) punk song. Portland, OR’s indie rock scene is doing a fantastic job of giving us just that; and in the case of Honey Bucket,
it’s coming at us in a sardonically playful, utterly catchy package. Their self-titled EP sounds as if it was
recorded on an 8-track in the basement of your parents’ house senior year
(which is fitting since that’s how this EP was
recorded) – complete with the twangy, distorted power chords and a few layers
of fuzz carpeting the drums and vocals.
And despite the lo-fi film covering all sound, each instrument manages
to stand out from the rest, playing its important role in the development of each
(albeit simple) song. Their sound
doesn’t vary much within their EP, and to magical results: 8 tracks of
three-chord garage-punk masterpieces, each one wackier than the last.
If the basic catchiness of Honey Bucket’s musical abilities
reels you in, their off-beat sense of humor keeps you hooked. Honey Bucket stole their name from the
Pacific Northwest’s favorite port-a-potty company, characteristic of their
unique sense of humor. Their lyrics
follow suit, playing up somewhat disturbing scenarios with injections of biting
sarcasm to round out the off-kilter vibes.
The opening track “Dumpster Dive” chronicles a day of pointless teenage
activities, including a trip to a dumpster, a graveyard, and other random places
to search for buddies to get stoned with.
“Spot Me” is a slower, groovy track highlighting a classic slacker teen’s
woe of dealing with that one friend who is constantly asking to borrow money,
summed up in a lighthearted, sarcastic tone.
“Hairspray” is the standout track of the
EP. Not only does its three-chord earworm
riff make its home in your head for days, its brilliantly biting lyrics about
eating razorblades, drinking hairspray, and spending nice days under the
freeway pinpoint the sentiment of outsider-dom that all punks/teenagers in general feel at some
point in their ‘slacker’ careers. Perhaps
my favorite part of the short track is the perfectly placed “um”s that define
the musical groove while also increasing the sarcastic humor to its full
All in all, while this
particular EP may not be the most interesting piece musically speaking, its
clever storytelling coupled with its raging simplicity is certainly setting the
stage for Honey Bucket’s sound to blow up the circuit.