On their first two albums, Honky's ability to have so much goddamn fun that their music seemed almost incidental, an afterthought to the proceedings, was both their greatest strength and greatest flaw. But there is no such confusion regarding their third studio album (and first for Detroit's Small Stone), Balls Out Inn, despite the presence of highly comical and rambunctious fare such as "Love to Smoke Your Weed" (which opens the album with two minutes of slide guitar mayhem), "Gittin' It" (a joyous slice of redneck soul, complete with girl background vocals), and the quite self-explanatory "Plugs, Mugs and Jugs." Once past these blatant examples of pure fun, Honky men J.D. Pinkus (he of Butthole Surfers fame), Robert Landgraf (also of Godzilla Motor Company), and Kenny Wagner (Sixty Watt Shaman, Halfway to Gone) get down to some comparatively serious rocking, and do so with no small amount of accomplished musicianship to boot. Album-dominating, mid-paced grooving efforts like the title cut, "Undertaker," "Good Pipe," and "Lookin' Green" land somewhere between a slowed-down Supersuckers and a souped-up Lynyrd Skynyrd, and even if some of them (specifically the latter pair) fail to actually go anywhere in particular, they still end quickly enough so as not to detract from the album's rhythm and pacing. The unnaturally somber, drawn-out, Skynyrd-dark "Broken Days" sounds more than a little out of place with its surroundings, but there are absolutely no complaints concerning the even mellower "Walkin' on Moonshine," which offers an ultra-bluesy, modern-day take on ZZ Top (then adds a fiddle as well). Finally, there's the welcome adrenaline surge brought on by the cartoonish "White Knuckle Pass," before listeners are taken on home by the country blues stomp "I Like the Way You Have Fun." All in all, Honky provide another night of alcohol-fueled entertainment with minimal hangover when all is said and done -- rock!
Balls Out Inn Review
by Eduardo Rivadavia