Robert Collins is equal parts Angry Anderson, Bon Scott, and Howard Stern, and the ex-Dirty Charms crooner has a new joint you need to be schooled on. They’re called Royal Honey, and if you like your rock hard, a little red, sleazy, greasy, and vintage, I regret to inform you that you missed a right corker of a homegrown jam if you didn’t catch their record release shindig at Howler’s this past Saturday night.
The new debut EP, titled Hype, Money, and Misbehavior, officially dropped then, and its 6 tracks of grit and hedonism and bourbon will work its way into your soul. Despite the lack of recorded material out on the tiles to date, the decadently-named Royal Honey filled out their set with even newer songs such as “Cut N Run” and “Liquid Dynamite” that are intended for a follow-up platter tentatively due out this winter. Opener “Sex Kitten,” and “The Noose” were high points of the show from the disc proper along with a cover of Prince’s “Let’s Go Crazy” done up funk metal style and one of The New York Dolls’ “Trash” to finish up the gig as well as “Chatterbox” somewhere in between. Axe twosome Eric Rodger and Dave Musick nimbly recalled both Gorham and Downey and the Young brothers of AC/DC with their tricky, sticky fingers as drummer Angel O. and bassist Greg Velvet kept the action grounded and tight while leaving enough slack to let the songs catch a drag. I could hear bands like Angel City, The Hollywood Vampires, and Heaven throughout their rockingly reverent and relevant stand. A packed crowd of well-wishers made this a bar band’s dream show, but if the quality of their music told me anything, it’s that Royal Honey deserve bigger rooms to frolick in.
The Legendary Hucklebucks have been on the prowl since the early 90’s and opened the gala with a long revue of their patented and highly entertaining “psychobilly” which possesses as much humor as it does Reverend Horton Heat/Stray Cats/Coffin Cats chops. Full disclosure: The metallic Volbeat is about as deep as I’ll swim when it comes to rockabilly waters, but The Legendary Hucklebucks were a honky-tonk, gas station, B-movie blast complete with Cramps and AC/DC covers. I can see why their cult following is so strong in these parts.
A mighty fine, guitar-driven evening it was, and Royal Honey and the Legendary Hucklebucks made it possible with a hipshake, a cigar, and a shot of tequila to chase it down. Keep your eyes and ears trained on each of them and buy ’em all beers.