Review: Honey Bucket — ‘Furniture Days’

I remember seeing a porta potty service use the slogan, “We’re #1 and #2.” The Portland trio, Honey Bucket, fresh off the pot with their wonderful new Furniture Days record, sound like they could become your favorite band…and second favorite.

Last year’s overlooked Patch of Grass EP introduced those in the know to five of the eleven songs present on Furniture Days, but on this new release from See My Friends Records, Honey Bucket parades a renewed urgency and seamless cut of surrealist verbiage and rattling hooks.

The recording (provided by Woolen Men’s Raf Spielman on a 4-track Tascam 414) nestles Honey Bucket’s charming style. Vince Skelly (bass, vocals), Matt Radosevich (guitar, vocals), and Jon Grothman (drums) are no strangers to a homespun ethos, and Furniture Days flickers silver and gold as a result.

Opener “Art Of Living” offers sped up Velvet Underground riffs, counterbalancing deadpan vocals, blitzing snare, a floor tom pace, and accented hi-hat, catapulting Furniture Days off with substance. “Far Side” follows with a low-fi hi-hat discharge, relentless and jerky electric guitar, and song speak phrasing found on elite art-rock palettes. “Don’t Pass Me By” enriches with Skelly’s overriding bass and Grothman’s tom heavy fills, smartly paired with image rich lyrics and boyish vocals. The spiny “Terra Cotta Forest” is lyrically hard to pinpoint, but poignantly sharp and quotable, as quirky ideas such as, ‘popsicle bars’ are proposed. Side A ends in full post-punk regalia courtesy of the bouncy, helter skelter rhythms of “Toaster Oven”.

Side B tears with the title track’s explosive antics and lyrical rips pasted around Radosevich’s teardrop guitar riffs and Skelly’s jackpot chorus calls. The song drifts with zaps of early Dead Milkmen cross-stitched into a Northwest pastiche of New York. Fans of Parquet Courts and the under appreciated Wave Pictures should be saving their nickels for this beaut.

The finale, “Masquerade”, is, however, the most alluring, guttural, and sophisticated. Skelly states arty slogans worthy of being silk-screened to a wagonload of American Apparel pocket tees, while Grothman and Radosevich erect a pulsing, near combustible bookend sending Honey Bucket off with a future classic, abounding in DIY spirit and earning the crown of #1…and #2 for now.

(Check out ‘Furniture Days below via Bandcamp and get more info about Honey Bucket HERE.)