The Honor System (band)
|The Honor System|
|Origin||Chicago, Illinois, United States|
|Labels||Asian Man Records
The Lawrence Arms
|Past members||Tim McIlrath
Formation and demo
The band initially consisted of former Broadways members Dan Hanaway (vocals, guitar) and Rob DePaola (drums), newly joined by Nolan McGuire (guitar) and Tim McIlrath (bass, vocals). Their first release in 1999 was a demo cassette comprising the songs "Fool's Good", "Single File" (the band's only song with main vocals by McIlrath) and "Facelift". This demo was reissued by Solidarity Recordings in 2010 on 7" vinyl record and as a digital download. In 2011, it was released on CD as part of Solidarity's compilation of the band's first few releases, Collection.
Single File and 100% Synthetic
Soon after, Chris Carr replaced McIlrath, who went on to form Rise Against. The band recorded and released their first full-length album Single File on Asian Man Records in 2000, featuring re-recordings of "Fool's Gold" and "Facelift" from the demo tape.
Self-titled EP and Rise and Run
After a couple of national tours, the band released a self-titled three-song EP (limited to 1000 copies ) featuring the songs "Moving Day", "The Sound of Sinking" and "American Math" and showing a move toward a heavier sound, bolstered by the arrival of Wiseman. This was followed three months later by the band's second full-length recording, Rise and Run, which featured re-recordings of the EP's first 2 tracks.
Hiatus and subsequent releases
Shortly after Rise and Run's release, the band went on hiatus when DePaola left to look after his ailing mother. Not long after, Hanaway and Wiseman formed Whale|Horse with other Chicago-based musicians. An early incarnation of the band recorded some demos, before Carr returned on bass, joined by ex-Sweep the Leg Johnny drummer Scott Anna on drums. The new line-up recorded and released a self-produced debut EP, Count the Electric Sheep, in 2006. Whale|Horse no longer appears to be active, but Hanaway and Carr have continued playing together: they formed the band Ratasucia, who released the debut album White Noise Pollution in 2011 and have played concerts.
In August 2008, Solidarity Recordings released Single File on vinyl for the first time, in two colours (limited to 400 and 100). In September, I Hate Punk Rock Records reissued Rise and Run in 3 colours and as a special edition featuring all 3 standard colours and 3 rare presses, limited to 5.
In April 2010, Solidarity Recordings reissued a remastered edition of the band's original 1999 demo tape, on three colours of 7" vinyl and digital download (Amazon MP3 and iTunes). In 2011, Demo Tape was additionally released on CD as part of the compilation Collection, which also contained the long-out-of-print Single File and 100% Synthetic.
Lyrically, whereas the other band formed from The Broadways' break-up, The Lawrence Arms, favour more introspective lyrics, Dan Hanaway's lyrics for The Honor System retain his socio-political perspective: covering issues including, but not limited to, police corruption ("Nails", "The Blaming Game"), criticism of the media ("The Blaming Game", "Losing Connection", "Hz"), anti-capitalism/corporatism ("Fool's Gold", "Muffled By Concrete", "Replacement Parts", "Moving Day"), the encroachment of development over the natural environment and human life ("Muffled by Concrete", "Conquistadors"), war ("Clockwork"), prisons and the prison-industrial complex ("The Rise and Run"), etc.
Musically, the band built upon The Broadways' melodic punk rock, dual guitars, and non-traditional song structures – incorporating better production, more developed instrumentation, and an increasingly heavy sound, the latter particularly after McGuire's replacement by Wiseman. Hanaway's vocals show a continued evolution from their rougher sound on his earlier works.
- Demo tape (1999) – officially released in 2010 as Demo Tape
- Single File (2000)
- 100% Synthetic (2001: CD)
- The Honor System (EP) (2003)
- Rise and Run (2003)
- Collection (2011) – compiles Demo Tape, Single File, and 100% Synthetic on a single audio CD
Appearances on compilations
- Magnetic Curses: A Chicago Punk Rock Compilation (2000) – "Fool's Gold" (demo)
- Living Tomorrow Today: A Benefit For Ty Cambra (2001) – "Witchhunt" (unreleased version) – i.e. an earlier demo