Washington, D.C.-based rock quartet Honor By August is building an impressive fan base in their hometown, and one listen to their debut full-length CD, Drowning Out the Television will tell you why – it is quite possibly the catchiest, turn-it-up-loud-and-sing along quintessential rock album since Matchbox 20’s Yourself or Someone Like You.
From the opening riffs of “Only in Photographs” to the balladesque closer “The Quiet Sky,” Drowning Out the Television is a steady diet of powerful melodies, tight harmonies, and irresistible hooks. Lead singer Michael Persall takes vocal cues from late-90s rockers, a la Vertical Horizon’s Matt Scannell and Third Eye Blind’s Stephan Jenkins, but the result is an original voice sure to grab the ear of lots of listeners. The songwriting is solid, if not somewhat predictable and well-balanced, with hook-laden, peppy tracks like “Diamond Eyes” countering slower numbers like the plaintive “Honesty.”
Somewhere in the middle of “alternative rock” and “pop” is the middle ground of “mainstream rock” that has been void of a champion for quite some time. Drowning Out the Television easily puts Honor By August in the running for the title.