Tuesday, February 19, 2013
Album review: Quaker City Night Hawks’ Honcho delivers a gut-punching blow
The album is a roller coaster of emotions.
Fort Worth band Quaker City Night Hawks has built a solid brand. Their dedicated following proves that their rough-and-tumble style fits right in with the west side of town — just stop by any of their local shows and see the crowds for yourself.
QCNH’s jagged country sound is also uncompromised: The guys know how to play the electric guitar without overdoing it; they add that natural country twang that sounds like small-town Texas. All of this and more are captured on their newest record, Honcho, out online Tuesday, February 19.
The way these country boys get down and dirty is simple – they bring their sanded-down vocals, their guitars, and a bottle of whiskey to the neighborhood bar for a rowdy set of highs and lows much like your most tumultuous relationship. Tracks like “Fox In The Hen House” and “You Got It Easy” show off their instrumental experience, with a stealthy guitar and harmonica that steal the spotlight at a comfortable pace. Sam Anderson’s gravelly chords are the glue that secures these moving parts, giving their loud-and-proud style the grit it requires.
It’s easy to see why they have such a devout following — their rock-infused country music gets fans out of their seats, beers in the air. QCNH's lyrics aren’t whiny enough to be country, and their rough-around-the-edges rock persona entices you stick around to see if they can live up to the guise. In concert, they are the real deal.
Although the album's pace is accelerated throughout, “Yellow Rose” stops the record dead in its tracks with a stride as slow as molasses. It comes near the end of the record, at just the right time, and organically reveals QCNH’s softer side. With a beat made for a cowboy two-step in "Yellow Rose," it transforms Honcho into a blend of fast and slow, rowdy and unwinding.
The release party for their sophomore album at Magnolia Motor Lounge seemingly conquered what it set out to do: Pack the house so they can share their rowdy, fun-loving songs. Honcho manages to capture this riveting presence while flashing a bit of the band's vulnerable side, showing they can satisfy their fans without sacrificing their identity.