On November 4th, Medford, Oregon was honored to witness a performance by two great talents; Honey Tree Lane & Bubble (featuring ex-members of Faster Pussycat, LA Guns, Vixen, The Wildhearts, Dogs D’amour, and the Streetwalkin’ Cheetahs). You can learn more about Honey Tree Lane @ http://www.mandell.net & Bubble @ http://www.planetbubble.com. First off, I want to mention that one of Honey Tree Lane’s strengths is the impeccable vocal harmonies of sisters Amber & Amanda Mullins. Still, they insisted on starting this show with an instrumental. At first, it sounded almost like a warm up. Not a bad song, they just have much better material to open with. After ‘Lust Song’ from their “Family Album” CD, Amanda tells the crowd they are from “C.P.” and jokingly flashes the *metal sign*. During ‘Anxiety Attacks’, guitarist Johnny Northcraft steals the spotlight with his fabulous stage presence. Reminds me a bit of his glory days in Emissary (haha). Then, we got to hear the album version of ‘You Say’ instead of their *punk* rendition. The piano parts sound great on guitar. Next up was ‘Brainswells’, a semi-instrumental. It features only a repeated disco-ish “ooh-ooh” vocal part. My current HTL favorite ‘Holding On To Nothing’, was the opener to a 3 song medley. Maybe if it were LAST in the medley, it would get a greater crowd reaction. This is a brilliantly written song, all the way down to the lead guitar impersonating the verse melody. Superb. Second in the medley was the hard rocker ‘Disappointed’, featuring a pleasing, grindier vocal part by Amanda. Everyone’s energy increases before launching into one of their best riffs in ‘Make Me Ill’. The wah-wah lead works perfectly with the rhythm. After ‘Converted’ (which sounds somewhat like ‘Holding’) they go directly into ‘My Muse’. The slow intro part is astounding, and the groove later in the song is one of the highlights of the evening. At this point, there’s a bit more movement by everyone. I thought Drummer Brian McMeen’s right arm was gonna fall off, before hearing ‘Daddy’s coming’. The jazzy parts intertwined are good, but a little weird. I think the band themselves would agree. Then we heard the first of two fast punk-ish tunes ‘Stupid People’ with nice high end harmonies by Amber. The girls switch places before ‘Politics’ and Amanda plays bass. Non-stop harmonies through this one, and the mid-way halt (including the tambourine) was very precise. And what would an HTL show be without the funky little country finale from their first album “Good’n Spood’n”, Amber’s ode to their stomping grounds ‘Central Point’? Easily the BEST Honey Tree Lane show I’ve seen.
Then it was Bubble’s turn. Lead vocalist Share Ross was my favorite member of Vixen (when her last name was still Pedersen). After blasting into ‘Don’t talk to Me’ from their “How ‘Bout This?” CD, they jump right into ‘Slut Motorchopper’ with a tricky 7/4 time signature in the chorus. Humorously, Share incorporates “Central Point” into the lyrics. After ‘Kick’ Walls’, Guitarist Brent Muscat gets called a “Noisy bastard” due to his feedback. The song they’re currently shooting a video for ‘Independently Wasted’ was before the first song I didn’t recognize, with what Share called “a very naughty, naughty title”, a super-catchy number entitled ‘Naked’. Can’t wait to hear that one on the new EP! Up next was ‘Shake’, and then came a rocked out version of ‘Sparklestar’, which is in the new Daryl Hannah/Jennifer Tilly movie “Dancing at the Blue Iguana”. The Blue Iguana, we are told, is a strip joint where they get *very naked*. Another hard rocker was ‘Black Hole’. It included all kinds of jumping and pushing at the end. I felt their “fucked up cover” of the Carpenters’ ‘Superstar’ was much better than the Sonic Youth version. If anyone guessed what “lame ass, cheesy group” did it originally they got either a free CD, or a blow job from Brent. He quickly said ‘no thank you’ so I guess someone had to settle for a CD! When hinting that it started with a “C”, drummer Bam guessed “Cunt?” but Amanda (HTL) got it. Brent got Karen Carpenter & Mama Cass confused, but when told she didn’t choke on a sandwich, he called anorexia ‘not eating ENOUGH sandwiches!’. Bam then suggested that if you’re going to kill yourself by anorexia, to at least “write a good song first”. Next was the high energy ‘Torn To Pieces’ (original?), with an incredibly fast melody. Bam wanted to play two more (instead of one) after “being in a fucking van all day” so they actually performed THREE more. ‘6000 Miles’, where Brent showed off a bit, and Share lied down on stage during the bluesy ‘Taxi Driver’ that I think I remember by Hanoi Rocks. To finish off, Bam played with a towel over his head during ‘Drug’. A big jump at the end, and Share handed her guitar to Amanda, bassist Dino Everett jumped off stage, and we were left with the words “You are my favorite fucking drug!!!”. Outstanding show by both bands. Cheers to everyone who made it possible!