Step into the haphazard menagerie of Honus Honus’ debut, Use Your Delusion

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Honus Honus | portrait by Mustafa Shaheen | courtesy of the artist

There’s something about the distinctly recognizable drawl of Ryan Kattner, who performs under the moniker Honus Honus: it makes me want to get up dance and write in my diary at the same time.

The newly released Use Your Delusion is the debut solo album of Man Man’s frontman. There is no way to label this album as the product of just one genre, so the umbrella label of experimental rock will have to do. Now that this highly-anticipated record is finally here, I’m not sure I can handle how great it is. In the twelve tracks that make up this album, Kattner incorporates music reminiscent of Vampire Weekend’s style of plucky indie-rock songs, Hamilton Leithauser-esque yowling and the unmistakable sardonic crooning that you would only expect from Honus Honus himself.

Use Your Delusion opens up with “Vampires in the Valley.” This is mid-tempo affair is carried by an array of string and horn instruments that acts as the perfect portal for listeners into the expansive world of Honus Honus. Personal favorite, “The Stripper Has No Navel” succeeds the opening track. I guarantee that you have never heard a song about this particular subject matter, and once you listen it is easy to see how Kattner incorporates his sometimes crude humor into his music in a way that avoids causing too much offense and forms and iron grip on your consciousness that won’t let up until the conclusion of the LP.

Standout track “Oh No” is a reggae-esque ballad that is low-key about a friend’s struggles with depression which is made very clear with lyrics “Your heart is bubble-wrapped in permanent depression.” Honus Honus is able to artfully prompt conversations about serious topics like mental illness in a way that doesn’t make you want to curl up in a hole for the rest of your life. His brand of funky productions melded with a symphony of instruments softens the blow of such discussions and still leaves a smile on your face. Concluding track “Empty Bottle” allows listeners a final look into the haphazard menagerie that is at work in Kattner’s head. His whimsical lyrics and bouncy arrangements cast a mildly disturbing shadow, but that’s exactly what we love about Honus Honus and his music.

This record bends the mental norm of listeners in a way that spits you out at the end with an entirely new perspective of this artist. Catch Honus Honus at Boot and Saddle on November 15th for a live taste of this charmingly chaotic collection of songs. Click here for more information on the upcoming show. You can stream the entire album below; for those of you who aren’t Spotify users, you can check out a few select tracks from the album via Soundcloud.

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