In their debut single, “Honey Ryder”, Total Rubbish, the all-female trio from Philadelphia, asks you to let them take you away. “Honey Ryder” begins with an explosion of sound: grungy, distorted rhythm guitar and a steady beat followed by lead guitar slicing in with a scorching lick — the kind of riff packing the classic-rock power to burn itself into your brain. And it heats up, until a soft voice washes in and soothes you. “It’s alright, there comes a time...” a floating voice “ooh”s and “aah”s in sweet, hypnotic hush, creating a balance to the punching and kicking of the instruments.
While the second verse — “It’s alright, beware the signs/A contact high, you’re trapped inside” — keeps the melody consistent, the lyrics appear to point to a deeper message about the delicate line between affection and obsession. The song’s final lines, “Don’t you want to slip inside her?/Let me be your Honey Ryder,” make you think of temptation and surrender. It seems we are being reminded to make our choices very carefully.
Though Total Rubbish clearly take inspiration from 90’s rock — “The band pulls their influence from their heroes, The Dandy Warhols, Veruca Salt, & the Velvet Underground” (from Born Losers Records) — I felt a significant resonance to 60s and 70s rock, with its chaotic instrumentals distorting the background of sedative, ethereal vocals. My other impressions were memories of the movie Sucker Punch (2011), rock groups 311, Jefferson Airplane, and Beach House, and of course, the James Bond films.
Despite the more serious, and even devastating context of our moment, there remains a promise of escape or renewal: whether it be in the impossible beauty and appreciation of another person, or in the promise of being a badass regardless of what you’re doing. We’ve done our time, fought our fights. We deserve to feel like we’re next in line. Whether we begin a new day of the same old routine, or decide to do something totally new, at least we can count on garage rock and Honey Ryder to see us through our mission.
“Inspired by disappointing relationships, new beginnings, odd-end jobs, and their Chicago & California garage rock roots”
Debut single “Honey Ryder” by Total Rubbish is out now for your listening pleasure. Their first EP “Triple Negative” will be out on 11/20/2020 via Born Losers Records, so keep your eyes and ears peeled (or do what I would do and PRE ORDER now). And definitely don’t forget to follow Total Rubbish on INSTAGRAM, FACEBOOK.
Written by: Karina Mercedes Martinez