Honest Men release EP
Other than mathematics, music is unquestionably the universal language of planet earth. Through its lens we are able to communicate an endless amount of emotion, from love to hate, anger to affection, joy to sorrow. It is remarkable when the stewards of this medium are able to grasp a significant portion of the populace with their message and style of transmission, and these artists are among the most important donors to the human legacy. In Honest Men, a simple rock band hailing from the heartland of America, you will not find pretentious rock star attitudes, or a sense of entitlement to the throne they seek atop the pop music landscape.
Instead you will find a band humbled by its own devotion, committed to creativity and admittedly indebted to the legends they chase after. If you’re bold enough to step with them in their journey, then their new self-titled extended play Human Men is an excellent place to start.
With guitars that sound as if they were forged in fire like medieval swords, Honest Men advance guitar-driven rock miles forward in this new record, using fine-tuned, synthesized beats and dreamy sonic breakdowns to create a new kind of indie pop suited to the modern palate. A lot of critics have taken to likening this band to Walk the Moon, but I think that is grossly unfair to Human Men, who espouse so much more rectitude in their lyrical attack by contrast. I think where people are possibly drawing the comparison between the two acts is their shared ability to create extremely jump-jivey rock songs that borrow as much from old school rhythm and blues as they do from visceral MC5 riffage. But don’t get confused; the overwhelming difference between these two is the depth of maturity in their songwriting. Human Men, led by vocalist Seth Findley, dive deep into cavernous reflection on this EP, much like their debut Okay Dreamer, which they also self-released just two short years ago. “Lacy Lake,” which on its surface is an all-around feel good jam, doesn’t meld a happy go lucky lyric into its melodies, but instead touches on the feeling of isolation and loss that can evolve out of extraordinary emotion of any kind. “Sam” follows the same path, examining the ceilings that we create for ourselves as individuals in a society that rewards conformity more than it does exceptionality. As we’re reminded in the song, you’ve got to find your own way, break against the grain and hone the wisdom of those who have come before you.
Everything seems to be falling into place for Honest Men, whether it be interest from the big labels or just eager airplay on specialty radio, and it’s making for an exciting time in both the Texas music scene that spawned them and the American music community that has come to embrace them. If this record finds its audience, then it won’t be long before we’ll be seeing the group dominating the national festival circuit and probably adding some well-deserved awards to their trophy case.