The Jacksonville Florida five-piece rock band Honey Chamber have been a band now for eight years. Over this time together these friends who formed up when other bands of theirs dissolved have recorded now four records with the release of their latest effort American Beach. It’s been rather productive career so far for a group of guys whose bio reads “Just a group of great friends who like to hangout listen to records, record crazy pop songs, drink good beers and smoke a lot of weed.”
American Beach opens with the upbeat “Flock of Birds” with its pitter patter drum line that really ropes the listener into the rhythms they are trying to create. This is then coupled with subtly-twangy guitar riff and Zach Elliott’s jaunty vocal delivery, and lyrics about how the only way he would see the world is to “fly away with a flock of birds.” It’s quite an indelible image.
Next comes the hazy rocker of a love song “It’s You” with its simple and effective guitar riff and flits of church bell, it becomes again a song to savor and ponder. On “My Whole Life” the band starts off with sunny riffs but the song just doesn’t have much power behind it and eventually and oddly turns into an experimental noise piece. They quickly recover though with the slightly quirky and sunny disposition of “Fucked Up” whose title doesn’t do this short shoegaze guitar track enough justice.
This excellent guitar work on American Beach is a hallmark of the record and even when the bridges and songs get to be a little mundane, like on the saggy and sappy “Riverside” or the halfhearted and slow dive of “Crumbling Rock” there is still the melodic and saccharine sweet jangly guitar riffs to keep one interested in the song. But the totality of the band’s talents culminate on the epic thirteen-minute closer the latter half of which is mostly an instrumental jam session and well worth every second of your time.
American Beach is quite simply put, a rock record by a bunch of friends who enjoy getting fucked up and making music together of the sort it seems they themselves would like to hear. It is an album with no pretentiousness. It asks nothing of the listener but that they simply sit and enjoy, and let Honey Chamber deliver their good old fashioned brand of rock n’ roll.
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