Bad Old World

Honey West

From the jangly two-guitar attack of “The September Issue” with a wry lyric that might just make you laugh out loud, “Terri and Julie” with its harmony vocal bridge, to the soft punk of “Generationless Man,” Honey West presents a perfect dozen gems on their debut Bad Old World. Produced without slickness and featuring each instrument in a perfect layer under the vocals, with counter guitar parks that will make you think Lennon and Harrison, one shouldn’t be surprised that this record is this good really when one considers Ian McDonald, a founding member of King Crimson and Foreigner, is at the helm producing and co-writing the songs with NYC Shakespearean actor, singer and crafty wordsmith Ted Zurkowski.

When one considers McDonald’s vintage rock pedigree (he provided the sax solo stomp for T Rex’s “Bang a Gong”), it’s a delight to see him falling back on his experience — but not the specific genres or bands he has played with — in how he crafted the sound for this record. “California” is a prime example of that. Zurkowsk gives his best vocal, while the beat is laconic enough to draw you in to the poignant mood with catchy choruses. If there ever was a single here, this is it!

It’s fun to hear McDonald gives us some flute through the jumpy beat on “Brand New Car,” while “Dementia,” an ‘Iggy-meets-the-50’s’ romp, has McDonald’s signature low sax soloing. Honey West’s Bad Old World is a lively record from artists who sure know how to bring fun and smarts to rock and roll.

~ Ralph Greco, Jr.

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