A Witch’s Brew of Genres
Self-described as “Apocalypse Pop,” Honus Honus’s Use Your Delusion is a lighthearted take on a dark situation, making this album a must-have for next year’s Halloween soundtrack—or much sooner if the end of the world suddenly approaches. Honus Honus is the solo project of Man Man’s Ryan Kattner and features members of King Cyrus King, The Skeleton Brothers and Yuumi The Baba Witch.
Opening track, “Vampires in the Valley” sets the scene with an eerie soundscape of accentuated strings and dark vocals, fading with an air of mystery. The lyrics, “In the valley of vampires, palm trees and bungalows, ginormous boob monsters and drop top convertibles” paint a background that is clear as a Hollywood night sky.
The pace picks up and slows down throughout the album, but remains dark and mysterious with some rockabilly and dub splashes throughout. While “Oh no!” and “Heavy Jesus” take on more of a chilled out dub beat, the vocals remains low and accentuated while the reverb and distortion remain on high. “Midnight Caller” is a clear nod to ’80s dance music, with a very familiar beginning, yet remains pretty one-note throughout. “Will You” is more reminiscent of the Strokes, as the vocals shift from low and raspy to more full in timbre and is short and sweet with no percussion, just piano. “Santa Monica,” “Raspberry,” and “Melted Dice” take on a theatrical show tunes vibe, but “Red Velvet” surprises the listener with straight up demonic death metal.
This album is successful in leaning into songs with mystery. It does so by incorporating full sounds of strings, and hearing splatterings of influences from Depeche Mode, the Strokes, and even some Elvis thrown in makes for quite a theatrical debut.
All in all, Honus Honus rarely stray from melodic lines that require moving more than two fingers on your keyboard, or are more than a whole note step, which makes Use Your Delusion a bit repetitive of a work. However, what’s unique about this album is the blending of genres from dub to death metal that leaves the listener wondering what kind of track will be up next.