Since 2012, Brooklyn-via-Columbia, MO four-piece Honduras have released two EPs of fast power punk that runs the gamut from harsh to danceable and, at its best, sits comfortably between these two poles. In advance of their debut full-length, they’ve released the three-track EP Break, an energizing and confident take on 70s punk or power pop nostalgia.
Break is full of surf rock riffs that sail over quick, steady drums and lots of fuzz. But if there’s one thing that’s made Honduras a standout within Bushwick’s punk scene, it’s the vocals. Patrick Phillips’ voice feels like it’s been dragged forth out of the wave of classic punk groups, his snarl practically audible in the heat of aggressive lines like, “You’re still dead, not born again.” He brings an intonation akin to Robyn Hitchcock’s to the following track, especially during the chorus, with its bright vocal harmonies during the emphatic repetition of, “You’re an illusion, people don’t change.”
Though Honduras are of the garage (really, basement) persuasion, their sound is anything but sloppy; the instrumental precision on the EP is tremendous, and the quick shifts to clean guitar lines are especially welcome in the midst of all the fuzz. The layering of riffs is intricate, and on “Mistake”, the guitar part throttles through bright blips, crisp solos, and hazy rhythm sections in just a couple of minutes while keeping the backbone to just a few power chords. Always pulling new tricks, Honduras leave no room for things to get stale—the light “ah”s over the vocals and the noise are playful and refreshing.
Break is out now on vinyl and digitally via Black Bell Records.