Who: Philadelphia-based lo-fi specialists Honey Radar do what they do best on their 5th LP. What do they do? They make memorable lo-fi charmers.
Sound: Jason Henn’s tie-dye, lo-fi stylings are nostalgic and endearing on this remarkable new LP.
TFN Final Take: Ruby Puff of Dust continues to demonstrate Honey Radar’s love for 60s era psychedelic-tinged pop blended with the lo-fi aesthetics of 90s era Guided By Voices, Strapping Fieldhands and Grifters.
There is a lot to love on Ruby Puff of Dust but for me, the upbeat tracks reign supreme. “Tick Tock,” “Carousel Society,” “Almanac Singer,” “Instant Furniture,” and “Smoking Boy” were instant favorites. Each song has a pulsating groovy vibe slung over driving beats, hypnotic melodies and Henn’s breathed vocals.
Out of those five tracks, “Instant Furniture” is the cream of the crop. I am not sure why, but that track seems to suggest a 60s era Vietnam protest rock song vibe. It is so damn catchy but feels like it stands for something more than just another Honey Radar song. It feels paranoid. It feels important.
The more you listen to Ruby of Dust the more you will discover. The snippets of melodies and seemingly accidental sounds weave in and out of focus. Guitar hooks blare over steady, heady rhythms. It all sounds so honest and pure. The guitars on “Kite Balloons” blast over the track and are reminiscent of the guitar solo from GBV’s Weedking. It is not pretty all the time, but it fits.
If you miss the lo-fi days of Guided By Voices, Honey Radar helps fill that void nicely. The band has carved out its own niche of lo-fi music that fans of the bygone era of Robert Pollard’s early 4-track basement experiments should readily appreciate.
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– Reviewed by Daniel Taylor