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The Dollyrots with honeychain, The Two Tens, & The Darts at The Hi Hat, Friday, March 23, 2018

The Ramones have left a deep groove in the punk world, no band will ever match their cool cartoon characters and their pop punk anthems, but their fun energy seemed to float over the awesome lineup of bands which played at the Hi Hat on Friday night. Four bands for a night always look a bit too much to me, but there was a unity in their various brands of pop punk that immediately made sense.

honeychain was the expression of power pop with a punk side that went crescendo during the set. Nobody should have been fooled by front-woman Hillary Burton’s serious look (even her name sounds like a business woman’s name) as her stage presence rapidly took control of their poppy songs with charisma and fast accelerations. They certainly had well crafted pop songs, with a constant progression in the aggressiveness while keeping real heartfelt harmonies, but when sudden accelerations took over their set, it was all about head bobbing and hooky songs going wild inside a controlled chaos. Last year, Honeychain released ‘Crushed’, an album produced by Kim Shattuck (the Muffs, Pixies, whereas Hillary also plays in Kim’s other project, The Pandoras) and this family affair could be heard throughout their catchy garage-punk collection of songs, eventually getting messy with love (the title of one of the tunes) but always directing the game with swagger and neatness.

Written by  | March 26, 2018

 


I probably wouldn't have made it to the Casbah in time to catch this breathless, feisty set from honeychain without the appropriate push from a fellow taper, but I'm rather glad I did. The LA based 4-piece - who I assume take their name from the Throwing Muses song of the same name - opened up the show for veteran like-minded fellow-Angelinos The Muffs, with a sweeping blast of fresh air (unlike anything that was coming out of any of the air-conditioning units on another steamy night at The Casbah) to blow away all the cares of the work week. 
The band started as a solo project for front-woman Hillary - who was a walking billboard for the other bands, sporting a Touchies T-shirt and a Muffs sticker on her guitar - but has progressed to the stage where we should really be expecting an album with the full band anytime soon. The songs are certainly ready for prime time and if they can put a good tour together on the back of that, they will go down a storm across the country. A salutary lesson in being there on time for the start of a show.
(For proper photos from Paul Silver, see Punktastic,com)