Imperial State Electric – Honk Machine

Rating: 4.5/5
Distributor/label: Psychout Records
Released: 2015
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Imperial-State-Electric-Honk-MachineBand Line up:

Nicke Andersson – Vocals and Guitar
Dolf de Borst – Backing Vocals and Bass
Tobias Egge – Backing Vocals and Guitar
Thomas Eriksson – Percussion and Drums

Track Listing:

1 – Let Me Throw My Life Away
2 – Anywhere Loud
3 – Guard Down
4 – All Over My Head
5 – Maybe You’re Right
6 – Walk On By
7 – Another Amrageddon
8 – Lost in Losing You
9 – Just Let Me Know
10 – Colder Down Here
11 – Ain’t What You Think (It’s What You Do)


I must admit, I had never listened to Imperial State Electric before I was given ‘Honk Machine’, their fourth album, to review. So I decided that I had better do a bit of digging and Youtubing; this is a word now, to see what I had been missing out on. Listening to their previous albums I got the felling that Imperial State Electric were one of those bands that sound too much like all the older ‘classic’ rock bands. For example I listened to several songs that could have been taken straight off a Thin Lizzy album. I don’t want to dwell on this too much as despite this I do think that they are a really good band, a belief that is more than re-enforced by ‘Honk Machine’….despite the name.

Yes! Just Yes! This is on hell of a rock and roll album! As I mentioned before, the bands earlier material had the tendancy to sound very similar to their ‘classic’ rock influences. On ‘Honk Machine’, this is not the case. Whilst you can certianly here the influence of various bands, Imperial State Electric have avoided simply sounding like clone on this new album. It’s like they have stripped everything away and said, this is us, this is what we sound like!

There are a couple of reasons that I like ‘Honk Machine’ so much. Firstly, it is the upbeat and uplifting nature of the majority of the songs and it is evident from the very start and track one, ‘Let Me Throw My Life Away’, don’t let the title fool you. It sounds like the band are having as much fun writing and playing these songs as I am listening to them.
The other reason that I like it so much is the variety that is being show cased on ‘Honk Machine’. On one hand you have a song like ‘Just Let Me Knoe’ which sounds like a mixture of The Rolling Stones and Lynyrd Skynyrd. On the other hand you have the soulful and almost bluesy ‘Walk On By’.

It’s hardto believe that the album is done and dusted in about thirty minutes ending on my personal favorite, the frantically fantastic ‘Aint What You Think (It’s What You Do). It is no surprise to me that in an interview that I saw online that founding member Nicke Andersson believes that Imperial State Electric have enough sounds behind them to release two albums a year. I for one would be massively in favour of this.

Review by Mark Hunter