Released: 2005, Small Stone Records
It’s probably safe to say that most people lost track of the members of the Butthole Surfers after their brief flirtation with fame back in the mid-90’s. Well, the Surfers’ leader, J.D. Pinkus has continued making a racket from his Texan home base with Honky. Formed with fellow Southern rock buds Bobby Ed Landgraf (Blowfly, Godzilla Motor Company) and Kenny Wagner (Halfway to Gone, Sixty Watt Shaman), Honky has been bashing out their Southern party songs for nigh on a decade now.
From the tongue-in-cheek album title (and “thonged” back cover), it’s immediately apparent that BALLS OUT INN is not going to be lyrically difficult album. Instead, it’s a raucous Southern groove machine concerned with partying, drinking, hangovers, and uh, partying. Accordingly, the music is loose ‘n dirty, hitting a simple rock cruise and staying there for most of the album’s running time. J.D. Pinkus’ vocals haven’t changed at all from the Surfer days as he still commands an impressive weather-worn howl.
Unfortunately, the album plays more like the dazed after party than the party itself – you don’t really remember anything and come away feeling kinda unsatisfied. As the 13 tracks roll on by, not one reaches out and knocks you on your ass. It’s weird too, ‘cause Honky is the type of band that I typically like too. It’s like the band spent too much time partying and didn’t have the energy to concentrate on the music, with only the mournful “Broken Days” standing out.
As I said, I really wanted to like BALLS OUT INN, the band has solid pedigree and Southern rock is almost always enjoyable. Normally I’d say that maybe Honky will improve next time out, but given their lengthy existence and experience (3 albums), I suspect they won’t.