Saturday, August 14, 2010

Album Review: The Honored Guests - Please Try Again

The Honored Guests Please try Again Front Cover
Artwork by Jerstin Crosby

With many of its most intricately exciting moments revealing themselves in deep tracks and late within them, The Honored Guest's Please Try Again fires in defense of the increasingly battered and shell shocked full album release as a worthy endeavor for a band. Album is the dieing king of artist presentation and its borders are being beat back by the energy efficient single and cost conscience EP, the unfortunate casualty is precious narrative which unravels an artist's body of work track by track. Please Try Again is just that sort of response...a start to finish listen which becomes a more meaningful understanding of The Honored Guests with every listen.

From the sepia hued nostalgia textures of it's opening track "Paper Trails" to the built-in falsetto hooks on the outtro tracks, Please Try Again is an epic sweep across the timescape of influence, meandering through seventies pop rattle, alt country sway, and Brit indie coolness all branded heavily with the signature Honored Guests aridly hot electric guitar riffing. A ninety-nine cent dl of what will probably be this album's most celebrated song, "Talk, Talk, Talk"...will invoke chemical tears of happiness with its visceral rush of emotion on the jaw breaking lead guitar refrain at 1:49, but a front to back listen of the entire album will fully lift your feet from the ground for 40 minutes.

Offering an alternating pallet of easy and hard, the album maintains engagement throughout it's journey. The soft and distant haze of the opening tracks comes to focus with a rattling and shaking feel and are first to introduce the album as an intensive study on rhythm section, gears are shifted at song three "No Holy Ghost" and we are reminded that the Guests are a rock band first and they are writers of hooks before that. A full album listen with cuffs on your itchy "next track" index finger will reward you at song five with a gushingly euphoric adrenaline delivering instrumental-only track which inconspicuously begins but ends with you trying to get the last little bit of volume out of your player...twisting it and pushing it like an accelerator pedal infused to a right foot and nailed to the floorboard.

Mid album tracks on Please Try Again are a thrill and worthy of repeated spins, but pure magic awaits deep within. With a guttural low reaching lead riff and grit-filtered vocal mic, "Last Time Next Time" casts an altered hue on it's own little spectrum of the disc and waltz's with an alt country rollicking through the better part of a love sick confession before a dramatically fulfilling outtro plants a heal and delivers a minute and fifteen seconds worth of one of the most beautiful, mystical, and amazing moments in the past five years of indie music, a lofty angelic crooning refrain with otherworldly chiming guitar play. Not to be ignored, "Opportunities" at track eleven provides us with one of the best one-liners of the day, "bar tenders and waitresses with feelings that it can't fix"...reminding us of gravity and pulls the toes back to earth with a deep breath.

Throughout its lyrically masterful eleven song parade of metaphors and tears, the ebb and flow of intensity and dreamscapes on Please try Again render it an album with purpose and may well be The Honored Guests most accomplished work. --Carrboro Ninja

post script
The Honored Guests will celebrate the release of the album at The Local 506 in Chapel Hill on August 28th 2010 at 9 PM with local celebrities Calico Haunts and Schooner.

Image and video hosting by TinyPic

1 comment:

  1. betsy/temples of greyAugust 17, 2010 at 7:56 PM

    Dear Mr. Ninja,

    You are so right.

    And this Aug.28 album release show, with Schooner AND CALICO HAUNTS is going to be the best show of August. -Maybe of the summer.