Reviewed by David Lynch, Fri., Sept. 2, 2005
Balls Out Inn (Small Stone)
Honky's been about one thing in the 10 years since their journey down the birth canal: straight-between-the-eyes, amped-up, boogie-down, chicken-fried Southern rock. This recipe is best savored on stage, as their four previous platters lose some flavor due to lineup changes and/or muddied documentation. From the opening syncopated salvo of "Love to Smoke Your Weed," which takes off like a grackle with a bottle rocket up its ass, Balls Out Inn beds down its debauched groove. Maybe in addition to Sabbath, Badfinger, Blackfoot, and Skynyrd, some Drive-by Truckers made it into the rotation in Honky's touring van. The LP's 13 decidedly-Dixie tracks are more focused and crafted while retaining the ability to shake teeth fillings loose and offend any soccer mom within earshot. The trio, drummer Kenny Wagner, guitarist/vox Bobby Rock, and bassist/vox J.D. Pinkus, broaden the effort with cameos by Grady's Gordie Johnson (slide guitar), Rae Craig (backing vox), Breedlove's Ezra Reynolds (Hammond B-3), and what sounds like former Bad Livers fiddler Ralph White. Some cuts, like "Tresspassin'," are a bit thin, but with meaty cuts like "Walkin on Moonshine" and "Undertaker," this steak has plenty to gnaw on.