Where Honky's self-titled debut may have suffered from poor recording or tonal quality, House of Good Tires, on the other hand, resounds with sonic depth, breadth, and clarity, one of the true earmarks of a solid rock album. That's precisely what this disc is, a well-paced, well-conceived, solid rock album. With Bobby Landgraf taking over Carson Vester's guitar duties -- with aplomb, House of Good Tires, like the majority of ZZ Top's early albums, is a tasteful blend of showmanship and rugged rhythmic sensibilities. Honky can groove as well as strut; Landgraf's leads are lightning quick, but are tempered by an innate rhythmic sense. Likewise, Jeff Pinkus' bass playing is as loose, deft, and limber as it is wrench tight; and Lance Farley's drumming, while simple and direct, contains just the right amount of fills. In other words, each band member takes his respectful turn, and what results is one of the most enjoyable Southern rock albums since Mollyhatchet's Flirtin' With Disaster. Indeed, Honky play with as much of that type of loud, rock & roll abandon as they do with the more nuanced Skynyrd and Black Oak Arkansas twang. Furthermore, Pinkus has stepped up and accepted more of the vocal duties this time around. That's a good thing, as his twangy alto was the most outstanding thing on Honky's debut.
AllMusic Review by Patrick Kennedy