By Phil Cooper
New Cumberland PA based three-piece, Almost Honest, are here with ‘Seiches and Sirens’. Delivering ten tracks of self-proclaimed groovy sexy Viking funk doom rock. Formed in 2013 and citing a number of influences from the likes of Clutch, Mastodon and Kvelertak, Almost Honest have set themselves the mission statement of saving the world with their brand of metal. They’ve steadily gained themselves a solid fanbase following a number of live shows and two previous releases. From what promises to be an eclectic style, what does ‘Seiches and Sirens’ hold in store?
Kicking off with ‘Fools Gold Flesh’ and the groove is immediately established with the intro guitar riff. Rapid fire chords introduce the rhythm section and the listener is immediately grabbed by a chopped, catchy rhythm. The sound backs off into a mid-tempo doom style as the vocals come into the mix cutting through with clarity. There is an infectious down tuned funk to the album opener that certainly packs a rhythmic punch. The catchy groove takes on a foot stomping, swing vibe with the percussion led ‘Keystone’. With the guitar riff style holding a doom/sludge feel, the vocal melody delivers an upbeat counterpoint which combined with the bass and drums blends together to keep the track moving a along at a great pace. The breakdown shifts in dynamics with the instrumentation backing off and the vocals taking on a brief spoken word style before the music returns to the main groove.
With a title that could easily have come from Clutch, ‘Interstellar Executive’ takes on a heavier hitting approach than the previous tracks. The vocal delivery is harsher giving a raw edge to its style. While the main guitar riff has a staccato style, which combined with the pounding drums and rumbling bass line gives a definite heavier doom slant to the music. The album continues in a relentlessly catchy, overdriven, groove packed sonic assault. ‘Whale Bones’ lifts the music vibe following the doomier ‘Interstellar Executive’ with an up-tempo guitar melody riff backing up the vocals. Whereas ‘Dancing Shaman and the Psychedelic Cactus’ features one of the best crafted vocal lines in fitting in that title with the music without detracting from the heavy funk-based rhythm.
As the longest track on the album, ‘Jenny Greenteeth’ is a twisting sludge/prog/stoner epic that has an underpinning groove that serves to both anchor the main theme and push the track onwards. The guitar work lets loose more from the funk framework providing both the catchy riffs and also well executed lead work particularly towards the closing crescendo of the track. The dynamic shifts between the instrumentation enable for a natural flow to develop and the vocals to take on a guiding role. There’s more straight down the line rock and roll available with ‘Wiwadvhv’. An up-tempo, head down no-nonsense track that still retains a catchy groove with its delivery as well as well-structured song writing that enables it to fit in with the rest of the album.
For a three piece, Almost Honest have managed to create a sound that is not only distinctive but also layered and interesting. The listener is able to identify influences of sludge, doom, funk and bluesy rock ‘n’ roll that have been blended together with a twist. At no point does the music get too complicated or bogged down in one theme and overall manages to deliver a sound that is fresh and engaging. Each track has a defining quality and there are standout moments such as ‘Keystone’ and ‘Dancing Shaman…’ yet the album enjoyed as a whole is a great metal journey combined with an infectious funk groove that will have you reaching for the playback button. There’s a lot going on in this record with a lot to enjoy regardless of whatever aspect of rock and metal might be your go to. Despite 2019 only being three months old upon the release of ‘Seiches and Sirens’, it’s definitely a contender for making it into the top ten records of the year.
- ‘Seiches and Sirens’ is released on 22 March. You can get your copy HERE.
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