The modern melodic rock band Honor By August came together back in the early 2000’s. The band formed in the same basic Washington, D.C. neighborhood around Georgetown University as a much more famous band, Vertical Horizon. The current line-up for the band includes: Michael Pearsall on guitar, vocals; Evan Field on lead guitar, backing vocals; John Athayde on bass, keyboards, backing vocals; and Brian Shanley on drums, percussion.
Having been around as a band for several years now, the members of Honor By August have shared the stage with bands like the Alternate Routes, Emmett Swimming, Michael Tolcher, as well as bigger names like Hootie and the Blowfish, Howie Day, Hanson, Bon Jovi and many more; and they have played to audiences as large as 20,000 at places like The Verizon Center and FedEx Field in D.C.
Honor By August is currently on tour in support of their 2007 release. That new album is entitled Drowning Out The Television. The new album is the first for the band with the addition of their 2005 release, the Photographs EP.
Drowning Out The Television comes complete with a lot of substance. The album is full of other songs that could find their way to the radio airwaves. Some of the best songs on the album include: “Into The Light,” “Black and White,” and the song that brings the album to a nice close, “The Quiet Sky”.
The track “Into the Light” kicks off the Drowning Out The Television with a gentle Pop/Rock feel to the music. The song’s music begins with the sound of two guitars blending their parts together to create a strong and enjoyable riff in two-part harmony. The song then transitions to a full-band approach and the track takes on a sound that would have been right at home with songs that had been on the Cracked Rear View album from Hootie & the Blowfish. “Into the Light” ends up being one of the strongest tracks on the album.
For the song “Waking Up,” the band creates the “title track” of the release. The band once again creates a Pop-Rock feel to their music. But this time, the band adds a bit of energy to the track. The stronger musical delivery on the track, when compared to the first song of “Into the Light,” means that the song would fit better on Hot A/C radio along with Vertical Horizon, Train, even John Mayer. The track once again finds the band creating a track where the music is just as strong as the lyrical message about looking for meaning in your life.
With the track “Black and White,” the band slows the pace of their music down quite a lot. The track’s lyrics deal with a man looking back at a relationship coming to an end. And while he is reflecting on said relationship, it also seems that he is not ready to accept the truth. He sings of the color running out of his life as the world is now black and white and dull. While the lyrics may be slightly depressing, the band creates a track with a lot of substance as well as beauty that comes in the form of strings that help add depth to the song.
The album continues with the track “Only In Photographs,” the song that helped the band win the grand prize in Billboard Magazine’s World Song Contest for the Pop category. With this track, the band adds a stronger vibe to their music. This track finds the band creating yet another track that seems to have a Hootie & the Blowfish vibe to it. The Pop-Rock music on the track would have fit right in with music from back in the nineties.
The final track of the album portion of the CD, “The Quiet Sky,” finds Honor By August yet again in a rather laidback mood. This time, the band creates a slow, steady pace to the music that also comes with a gentle feeling to it. The relaxed feeling in the song adds to the emotional feel of the lyrics about allowing the world to go away for a while. Altogether, the lyrics and the easy feel to the music creates a track that has a slight lullaby approach to it.
Having already been released once, the band took their album and made it even better. The 2007 version of Drowning Out The Television now comes complete with the twelve original songs and new remixes of three of the songs. Those remixes are to the album’s aforementioned songs of “Into The Light,” “Waking Up” and “Honesty”.
Drowning Out The Television from Honor By August ends up being a strong Adult Contemporary album of music. The songs alternate between Soft Rock and the harder radio format of Hot A/C. If you are a fan of Hootie & The Blowfish, John Mayer or even Matchbox 20, give Honor By August a chance. And keep an eye out for this band as the future holds much in store for them. You can go to their website at www.honorbyaugust.com and check out their music.