Drug Honkey to Play Roskilde 2014

Posted in Whathaveyou on April 3rd, 2014 by H.P. Taskmaster

One imagines that when Chicago purveyors of the sonically profane Drug Honkey take the stage at the long-famed Roskilde festival in Denmark, set to run over the course of eight days this June into July, they won’t be backing Stevie Wonder — though that would be interesting. The four-piece released their transcendentally vicious Ghost in the Fire full-length (review here) in 2013, and their appearance at Roskilde will likely coincide with the release of their previously announced new EP, as yet untitled.

No update on that in the PR wire info below, but Drug Honkey also has a new shirt out that says “The only drug you need is Drug Honkey” on it, which is pretty badass in itself. Considering the hundreds of acts on the bill for Roskilde, from Carcass to Chromeo, I guess you have to do whatever it takes to stand out, though once Drug Honkey show up and plug their gear in, I can’t imagine that’d be a problem for them.

As the PR wire flies:

Drug Honkey invited to play at the Roskilde Festival 2014

Transcending Obscurity band from US, Drug Honkey, playing a genre-bending style of Death/Doom/Experimental music has been invited to play alongside acts such as The Rolling Stones, Carcass, Mogwai, Mournful Congregation, Electric Wizard and others in Denmark this year for the prestigious Roskilde Festival 2014. The complete line-up can be viewed here.

Drug Honkey has been at it since the ’90s, releasing four highly-acclaimed full-length albums in addition to a stunning live release. The band’s energy can only be palpable. Here’s an electrifying (almost literally so) live song - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8jb_nNCpViQ

The band has most recently released an anti-drug message T-shirt with the words “The only drug you need is Drug Honkey” on the back. It’s a limited edition print, available for purchase from the label’s bandcamp page -

http://roskilde-festival.dk/music/poster/
https://transcendingobscurity.bandcamp.com/album/ghost-in-the-fire
https://www.facebook.com/drughonkey
https://www.facebook.com/transcendingobscurity

Drug Honkey, Ghost in the Fire (2013)

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Drug Honkey Have a New EP Coming this Summer and a New Video for “Five Years Up”

Posted in Bootleg Theater on January 21st, 2014 by H.P. Taskmaster

Of all the bands I’ve heard in the nearly-half-a-decade that I’ve been plugging away at this site, Drug Honkey make some of the most authentically disturbing noise I’ve come across. At very least they’re high on the list, and I mean that as a compliment. It’s not like they’re trying to write comforting songs — it’s “fucked up” as an aesthetic. I continue to be impressed with just how much they’re able to stick to that and how dark and looming their songs seem to be, slow-rolling doomers like half-speed sludge, drugged out in a tragic way like after the fun stops and somebody’s life falls apart.

The abysmal doomers — and that’s meant literally in the sense of pertaining to an abyss rather than a statement on the quality of their output — will reportedly release a new EP this summer for which they recently recorded, and as a precursor to that, they’ve put together a video comprised of fading still shots, some effects, some “found” footage (if I’m not mistaken there’s a little porn in there near the end, though it’s hard to tell), and so on for the song “Five Years Up” from 2012′s exercise in extremity, Ghost in the Fire (review here). If you’ve never heard them before, expect that by the time you’re done with “Five Years Up” you’ll probably need a prescription and at least two years of talk therapy to get your equilibrium back.

And by that I mean enjoy:

Drug Honkey, “Five Years Up” official video

Brand spankin’ new video for the song “Five Years Up” from the ‘Ghost in the Fire’ full-length… This should hold ya over until the new EP drops sometime around summer.. HAIL.

Excellent quality T-shirts are going to be made available from next month. Watch out for this page -

http://transcendingobscurity.bandcamp.com/album/ghost-in-the-fire
$10 CD (limited edition) including postage anywhere in the world
$5 full digital album.

Drug Honkey on Thee Facebooks

Transcending Obscurity on Bandcamp

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Drug Honkey, Ghost in the Fire: In Cruelty, Truth.

Posted in Reviews on December 7th, 2012 by H.P. Taskmaster

So fucked. So very, very fucked. You know how some music just sounds narcotic? I’ve never done heroin, but to me, that’s what Drug Honkey‘s fourth album, Ghost in the Fire (Diabolical Conquest) sounds like. The far-back echoes, droning cruelty, oppressive nod and pure abrasion speak directly to a tragic, endless addiction. And not in the way that Alice in Chains‘ Dirt was about heroin. I’m talking a direct sonic correlation. The fact that the second half of the album opens with “Dead Days (Heroin III)” seems to confirm that it’s not a coincidence either.

To be perfectly honest, I’ve been lagging on reviewing Ghost in the Fire — which features contributions from the likes of Nachtmystium‘s Blake Judd (who’s since become a full-time guitarist in the Chicago-based outfit) and a cover of the track “Twitcher” by Napalm Death offshoot Scorn — because the damn thing is so hard to listen to. Fourth cut “This Time I Won’t Hesitate” barely even has a pace to speak of; it just kind of collapses out of the speakers in a lurching ooze that makes SunnO))) sound accessible in comparison, topped with indecipherable growls drenched in effects and echoes to make them even more obscure. At 10 tracks/51 minutes, its extremity is unrelenting, and for a lot of people — I think for me as well — it’s just going to be too much.

I like a challenge though, and Ghost in the Fire provides nothing if it doesn’t provide that. Opener “Order of the Solar Temple” is among the most active pieces, with a forward-moving progression that the ensuing title-track takes down to Khanate levels of tortured recital. By the time they get down to the middle of the record, with “In Black Robe” and the aforementioned “Dead Days (Heroin III),” Drug Honkey‘s miseries feel inescapable, and it’s not exactly like there’s any letup on side B. Whether it’s the foreboding stillness that marks the beginning to the noisy build of “Five Years Up” or the half-speed Godflesh plod that follows with the fittingly deranged “Out of My Mind,” Ghost in the Fire offers no break from its excruciating decline.

And on that level of utter relentlessness, one has to stand back and appreciate Drug Honkey‘s work throughout these songs. It’s not like this sound happened by mistake, like they were a pop band whose album got warped in the manufacturing. Ghost in the Fire was produced by drummer Adam “BH Honkey” Smith and vocalist Paul “Honkey Head” Gillis — the band is rounded out by guitarist Gabe “Hobbs” Grosso and bassist Ian “Brown Honkey” Brown — and its commitment to extremity runs through every facet and nearly every second of every song — so much so that by the time “Twitcher” comes around as the penultimate cut before closer “Saturate/Annihilate,” it’s one of the “friendlier” moments on the album. How can you not respect that?

The kicker is they’re working on a level of viciousness that next to nobody is going to be able to keep up with. But you don’t make this kind of misanthropic noise if you haven’t considered such things and long ago said fuck it and fuck everything, so kudos to Drug Honkey. There are a lot of acts in a lot of genres who claim to be carrying a standard for precisely this kind of malevolence. I’ve yet to hear one who embodies it so genuinely.

Drug Honkey on Thee Facebooks

Diabolical Conquest

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Drug Honkey’s Death Dub Might Get You Arrested

Posted in Reviews on January 20th, 2011 by H.P. Taskmaster

Originally released in 2008 and finding second issue and wider distribution now through Diabolical Conquest Records, Chicago villains Drug Honkey’s third full-length, Death Dub, is fucked. I mean it. Thoroughly fucked. I’m no stranger to disturbing audio of various kinds, but the blown-out, malicious cyber-sludge this four-piece emit offers no romanticism, no hope, no potential for a positive outcome. It’s like listening to an overdose. When they get around to the live cut “China Black (Heroin Pt. 2)” – the inclusion of which does practically nothing to upset the flow of Death Dub because by then there isn’t a flow as much as a descent – it’s not any of that Pulp Fiction “heroin is cool” ‘90s-type of crap, it’s “this is the sound of your brain shitting itself,” and it’s not at all pleasant. From opener “My Sins” onward, Drug Honkey’s approach is relentless, dark and disgusting.

They’re not the first to blend industrial leanings with aggressive and slow metal, but their Eyehategodflesh-style takes on a nastiness all its own almost immediately. Hyper-modulated screams and growls from Honkey Head (who also handles synth and samples) dominate the mix, making Death Dub – a genre designation in itself – even less accessible to the listener. The rumble of bassist Brown Honkey features heavily, matched by the downtuned guitar of Hobbs (the only member of the band without the word “Honkey” in his name) for feedback lethality and low-end abrasion. Drummer Bonghit Honkey keeps his attack relatively simple, which grounds a song like “The Devil Lasts Forever” while the guitars buzzsaw their way through what one imagines to be a basement collection of human skulls, but that’s about all Drug Honkey offer listeners to hold onto, and frankly, it isn’t much. Their intent is unmistakable: They want to alienate, to test the endurance of their audience and to be as sonically malevolent as possible.

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