The best part of Satchel’s third album, Heartache and Honey, is like the first 10-15 seconds. That’s not the only good part, but it’s the best part. It’s the vibe they hit: dirty guitars, driving rhythm, and tasty riffs. They come back to that at points during the album (“Created A Monster,” “Drift,” the first half or so of “Seeing Stars,” and “Solid Gold”), and when they do it’s very nice. But after they hit the mediocrity of the third track (“Might As Well Be Dead”), they’re never quite able to get back that feeling that you’re about to listen to something completely awesome.
Satchel did the slow, mopey thing really well on The Family, but I don’t feel anything positive (or anything at all, sometimes) about the slow tracks on this album. The songs either lean towards boring or clunk in really awful ways. Take “Old Spirit” (please). This one actually is pretty good as far as a song, but then there’s this line, apropos of nothing else: “understanding fashion/recognizing the way Michael Jackson moves.” Another clunk is “Solid Gold,” one of the rockers, where the last third or so of the song is spent singing “She wants to go showers.” Or maybe it’s that she wants gold showers, I don’t know.
And then four of the last five tracks are, while fine tracks, just too much mopey too concentrated in one place, though thankfully bifurcated by “Drift,” the best track on the disc.
The full hearts are carrying a lot of weight on this one. But four full and only one broken? Pretty nice, even if parts of it get to be a slog.
– “The Return Of…,” “Seeing Stars,” “Created A Monster,” “Drift”
– “Might As Well Be Dead,” “Clear Cut,” “Solid Gold,” “The Border,” “Since You’ve Been Gone,” “Scold Me,” “Carrier Of Silence”
– “Old Spirit”
Filed Between: Satchel’s The Family and Sausage (Riddles Are Abound Tonight)
Song Notes: After the jump
- The Return of… – Whoa, heavy start.
- Seeing Stars – Bam, another big announce at the start. Like a 70’s or 80’s rock song that could start an NBA game in the arena. I went to a Satchel concert and an NBA game broke out.
- Might As Well Be Dead –
- Clear Cut –
- Solid Gold – Have as “at most open,” but this could be full, I think. No way in hell could this be full. This is the one about gold showers.
- Old Spirit – Is this the one about the way Michael Jackson moves?
- Created A Monster – starts off heavy. heavy groove. Lyrics about “heartshine”…is this about Andrew Wood?
- The Border –
- Since You’ve Been Gone – not a Kelly Clarkson cover
- Drift – nice start. so good.
- Scold Me –
- Carrier Of Silence – They ended The Family with a rainfall, here they end it with the sound of the tide. Inspired by sound machines.