Madness and Glory

Tequila Mockingbird (Golly Gee Records)
The Honkeys

By David Lilly

Would Harper Lee be aghast, amused or indifferent at this? A surf band named their CD after a classic book she wrote and they turned it into a pun. In a classic-literature and surf situation like this, you have to ask yourself, "What do I want from surf music?" If the answer involves wit, humor, elements from other genres and some interesting song names ("Wolfman's Got Nards" and a cover of Frank Zappa's "Take Your Clothes Off When You Dance," to name two) with the common denominator being fun, you're headed in the right direction. The Honkeys welcome you to their St. Louis digs.

"Tsunami?" catches the first wave with a salute, intentionally or not, to spacey psychedelia. How so? If you don't hear elements of the Floydian gem, "Astronomy Dominé" within "Tsunami?" then you haven't heard that Floyd song. It's in there, it's exciting and I am glad. If you dig suspense and shadowy places, Pee Wee, get a load of, "Tell 'em Large Marge Sent Ya." The same can be said for "S'othern Repercussions," but it differs from "Tell 'em..."

'Tis amazing what some folks can do with a keyboard. I'd leave that to your imagination but you need to know that "Intergalactic Cheese" features a two-note keyboard riff. That's played in a couple of different keys, but it is just two notes. However, be not dismayed or fooled by this simplicity, fellow hodads, because it rocks. At the exit, this disc leaves us with nearly 12 minutes of a song either untitled or called "ellipsis." The beginning of the end involves a couple of minutes worth of solid-grooves of rocking surf guitar; then it spills over into...well, discover the rest for yourself. You'll be glad you did.

The band's Web site,

http://surf.to/the-honkeys

, offers more information, as well as samples. To tell them how much you like or dislike them, write to

thehonkeys@lycos.com

.