basement powerhouse

Honeytiger - Brain On The Wall Review

One of our Philadelphia favorites, and long time Hook supporters, Josh Glauser and Isaac Clark are Honeytiger. Two-piece, Philadelphia-based indie-rock band just released Brain On The Wall, their first full-length album, earlier this month. According to their bio on their website, “Honeytiger takes on catchy alt-rock, dark indie-rock, and broken-hearted slow-motion car crash songs,” which is like, such a hook for me that they must have reached inside my mind and fished out the weird idiosyncrasies of my music taste. Broken-hearted slow-motion car crash songs are my favorite songs. One could argue that’s all I listen to. I’m such a drama queen.

For something that was recorded in a basement (from the mouth of guitarist & vocalist Isaac Clark), Brain On The Wall sounds nothing less than professionally mixed to me. Honeytiger has excellent musicality, and this LP harks upon previous releases in a real, grown-up way. Clark’s vocals will remind you of bands like Cage the Elephant and Muse, while the instrumental aspect is a classic indie sound that shouts: this band is going places!

Before we move on, check out the tracklist below to follow along!


Brain On The Wall Tracklist:
I Quit
2. Dawdler
3. Point Breeze
4. Sundrop
5. South Philly Summertime
6. Ultraviolet Buzzing Machine
7. Piece of Cake
8. I’m Alright
9. Confinement Howl
10. Robot
11. Same Fears
12. Endless Somersault

This is a perfectly succinct album, and a pleasant listening experience all the way through.

Mellow and relaxing for the most part, one of those albums you like to have on in the background, maybe while you’re studying or getting some work done. This feels on-par with Honeytiger’s previous work - their debut full-length drawing upon the successes of their EP work allows the band to come full circle for long-time listeners, while also remaining welcoming to new fans. A smooth, indie overlaid with hard-hitting guitar and percussion which feels like the first sip of coke on a warm day.

I loved track nine, “Confinement Howl,” as short as it was, and the final track, “Endless Somersault” (a couple of those car crash songs). “Confinement Howl” and an earlier track, “Ultraviolet Buzzing Machine,” seem to serve as transitional songs - they’re both recorded the same way, with nothing but a soft acoustic guitar and vocal, which sound like they’re playing through an old record. As tracks six and nine, they bookend the middle and end of the album, and I really appreciated that technique.

Since our first review of Tangerine back in 2017, and Half Clean in 2016, Honeytiger remains, to us, a band to watch out for, one on the rise. Their sound is familiar, sharing similarities to other well-known indie bands, I’d say these guys have a pretty good chance of making it.

Check out Brain On The Wall available for streaming and purchase now. You can get a digital album or a vinyl! All of the band’s links are available on their website. 

Honeytiger: Facebook // Twitter // Instagram // Website // Bandcamp

steve. - Boo-Shemi Review

New Brunswick, NJ back at it again with the music talent - and we've always just been along for the ride. Peep trio, steve. - bringing us right back to our basement roots, and let's be real, we're happy to be there.

steve. is comprised of members Eric (ex. Bird Hotel and Semiotics)on bass & vox, Zach (also in The Great Depression) on drums & vox, and Kyle (Wisteria, Semiotics) on guitar & vox. The band's been around for a little over a year, and back in November they released their debut EP, Boo-shemi. The 6-track EP was produced by Kyle O'Connor and Nicholas Rapon, engineered by John Naeder and Ben Luckman, and mastered by Rachel Lightner. All songs written and performed by steve., and ddditional vocals included Nicholas Rapon, Seth Blissenbach, and Ally Rose!

And, if you're asking us (which, you are, right?) that's a bunch of names that sound like they're going to make a really stellar EP. Spoiler alert: they did. Check out the tracklist below so you can follow along!

Artwork: Vanessa Lasky

Artwork: Vanessa Lasky

Boo-Shemi Tracklist:
1. TF Happened to that Miguel Song?
2. SEGA Memecast
3. Soft Serve
4. Heart Attack on Titan
5. Purp Durp
6. Foney Hawk

Boo-Shemi's tracks are on the shorter side - but they fit with their up-beat, whimsical stylized lyricism and vocal upkeep. 

The EP begins with "TF Happened to that Miguel Song," which sets the tone for the rest of the EP in certain ways. One of which being that upbeat instrumental sound we were talking about, and the other about stylizing the vocals - reminiscent of our favorite DIY groups - the opening voice, "Sitting in my room alone / while you're out with all my friends / telling them how much you hate me / and how much you'll never miss me."  A theme that follows through the rest of the album with tracks like "Soft Serve," and "Foney Hawk."

Our favorite track, though, is definitely "Purp Durp," because of a few things. One of which being it's differentiation in sound then the previous or following tracks, and also the lyricism on this one is absolute perfection poetically. You should check out the bandcamp stream of it below, so you can hear what we're talking about too!

Overall, we're really digging this EP. It's quirky, fun, and fast paced - a nice teaser for maybe what can be expected from steve. in the new year! Either way, we're down for it - and we're down for all the great music coming out of NJ as of late, so thanks steve.

Definitely do check out Boo-Shemi, all six tracks are unique, personal and fun little compilations to croon over that girl you used to be into, or the self-depricating moments of early adulthood. Either way, check out steve.'s bandcamp and links down below for more!

steve.: Facebook // Bandcamp // Instagram // Twitter