Do you ever imagine what a hybrid of Soundgarden and White Zombie might sound like minus the fancy production, playing out of somebody’s mom’s garage, in the ‘70s? I think I’ve got the answer for you.
Welcome, Question of Honour. On Caponic Jars (really a compliation of new stuff and songs from an EP), the Chicago-based outfit travels hard rock territory with a chip on their shoulders, exemplified in their maudlin content and minorly twanged chord progressions. Songs like “Mind”, “Hold Me” and “Bitch” take this directive and root it firmly in Rush-ish classic rock methodology, with a penchant for ostentatious guitar riffs and agonized vocals. So much so that stuff that’s even slightly sunnier like “Laughing and Crying” sounds like a stretch—or a bribe.
So if feeling alienated is your thing, Question of Honour is sure to be your newest friend in low places. Be forewarned, though—in many cases, the task of being hardcore and tormented seemed to have superceded innovative musical lines, or even changing keys among songs. Take a track like “I Want Out”,—or many of the tracks for that matter—and you’ve got a pretty pat formula: delicate, pleading verse leading into screaming, heavy, power-chordy chorus, laced with tough but non-distracting drum lines and lots of ballsy bass. The result is music that may be emotionally satisfying, but for the large part in the most rudimentary of ways.
I don’t deny that Question of Honour has some potential, but they’ll have to take a few more risks to get there. That’s the honorable thing, anyway.
// Notes from the Road
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