The Hex of Penns Woods: Almost Honest Come Out of the Gate Swinging!

The awesome stoner/doom rock newcomers Almost Honest are set to release their debut album this coming Friday. We’ve already chatted to the band about it (find that here) and now we’re finally gonna check it out!

A very stoner riff opens ‘Alien Spiders’, the instruments building in pretty perfectly into a crescendo. Even as it explodes in with the full track, all three instruments remain right at the forefront, all a highlight in their own way. I have to say, it might have been nice to have another guitar to fill out the sound a little, but it still sounded awesome. The backing vocals add so much to the catchiness and overall sound, too. The chorus is awesome and the whole track just as a bouncy, fun aspect to it. It’s like the perfect blend of Red Fang and old-school Queens of the Stone Age. The bridge/solo is of course more awesome playing from the incredibly talented band, and the song ends with a big final chorus. What a fantastic way to open the album and a great introduction to the band!

Single ‘Amish Hex’ the grungy, stonery riff vibes perfectly. I get pretty awesome The Sword energy from it all, too. The rest of the band explode in and fill out the song perfectly, like I was expecting them to do in the previous track. It’s a HUGE sound. The vocals sound fantastic over the top of the steady verse and awesome drumbeat. Also, the harmonies are again a huge highlight. it makes the chorus pretty damn catchy. The guitar solo is also awesome, fitting in with the vibe of the track perfectly. It’s an amazing track, and one that easily makes our playlist!

‘Ballad of a Mayfly’ opens straight into some really interesting double-tracked vocals over a great chord progression. I wasn’t expecting this more pop-punk approach to songwriting, but it worked perfectly with the band’s style. The riff soon explodes in, bringing back the stoner/doom rock in the best way possible. The harmonies and vocals in the verse almost remind me of Alice in Chains, which I fucking LOVED. And then the band add in one of my favourite things in rock music that is far too underutilised: whistling. The bass and whistle harmonising is phenomenal and something I never thought would be as good as it is. Everything about the solo/bridge is also awesome, from the riffing to the drum fill. This is another incredible song and the second in a row to make our playlist!

There’s an awesome chaotic energy that runs through ‘Colony of Fire’, mainly from some of the best drumming I’ve heard this year. The way it plays off the simple, single-guitar riffing is insanely impressive. It’s another good, catchy chorus, but honestly the instrumentation is the highlight of this track. Everything from the 2:30 minute mark is amazing and highlights just how incredible the band are as musicians. It almost gives off early Tool vibes with the slightly proggy nature and the guitar tone. I love it. And more Alice In Chains vibes from the harmonies, too. It’s the third straight track to make our playlist, and I’m not even mad in the slightest.

Tracks like ‘Eyeless Herd’, ‘Goliaeths Lamp’, ‘Haunted Hunter’ and ‘Where the Quakers Dwell’ are more awesome tracks. However, they are pretty similar to the others I’ve spoken about already. That isn’t a complaint by any means, I just don’t want to repeat myself over and over in my gushing!

‘Laughter of the Deer Owl’ is an awesome track and features the amazing Brandon Yeagley of Crowbot. Again the riffing is top notch, and Brandon brings a lot of greatness to the track. His distinctive voice gave it a very Crowbot feel in the best way. And it’s a great radio-friendly stoner track that still has plenty of heaviness and awesome instrumentation. Hats off to Brandon and Almost Honest for coming together to create something that somehow feels distinctly like both parties!

‘Mortician Magician’ is a lot of fun. From the ringmaster-like intro to the slower, heavy choruses filled with call-and-response vocals, this is a blast to listen to. I love all the dynamics, too. Whether it’s dropping out just to a guitar or the awesome bridge/breakdown riff, all of it is awesome. It constantly keeps you guessing. And THAT solo towards the end is awesome!

Then we sadly reach closer, ‘William Penn’. However, it is a damn good way to close the album, and a really interesting track overall. It’s more of an interlude track than anything, being sub-three minutes, but the more clean sound of the guitar as it fades in is beautiful. Even when the distortion comes in over the top, it has an almost calming feeling to it all. It’s epic too, and definitely a fitting finale.

Overall: This was fucking awesome! There isn’t a bad track on the whole album and there is so much to love throughout. There are multiple standout tracks, too. This band have gone from strength to strength recently and I honestly think that with this release it will strap a rocket to their back. I’ll be listening to this a lot in the coming weeks and months, and anyone who is a stoner or doom or grungy rock fan should check this out immediately!

The Score: 9/10