sun 19/11/2017

CD: Honeyblood - Honeyblood | reviews, news & interviews

CD: Honeyblood - Honeyblood

CD: Honeyblood - Honeyblood

Promising debut from Glasgow duo packed with sugar and venom

Casually brilliant: Honeyblood's debut album stays close to their lo-fi roots

Right from their lo-fi beginnings, Glasgow’s Honeyblood have always been able to deliver the perfect kiss-off. It’s why it’s a relief to see that the duo’s self-titled debut album retains a fair slice of that crackle and hiss, Stina Tweeddale’s candy-coated vocals still providing a deceptive delivery method for her often venomous lyrics.

It’s not always big and it’s certainly not always clever - new single “Super Rat”, for example, combines three minutes of likening a cheating ex-boyfriend to the titular rodent with a playground chant of “scumbag, sleaze, slimeball, grease” - but Honeyblood the album is frustratingly, inconsistently, halfway to fantastic. The band’s simple setup features Tweeddale on guitar and lead vocals and Shona McVicar on drums, and while the premise might seem formulaic the scuff of a cymbal and the casual brilliance with which Tweeddale delivers blunt barbs like “when Mother Nature planned for age she must’ve forgot about you” destroys any notion of artifice.

The album’s bookends neatly illustrate the surprising flexibility of the band’s minimal approach: “Fall Forever” is the sort of giddy lovestruck opener Sky Ferreira would be proud of and its urgent riff and frenzied drumming never sound underdone; while Tweeddale’s wounded, lovelorn vocal performance on “Braidburn Valley”, like a juvey Jenny Lewis on a self-hating vision quest, buries itself in the listener’s soul. “Killer Bangs” is a firecracker of a track with an infectious melody, and “Choker” is by turns grungy and melodic, delivering violent imagery from an Angela Carter short story in the form of gorgeous call-and-response harmonies. If it wasn’t for the odd clunky lyric or, on “Fortune Cookie”, a disappointingly dull backing for one of the best lines on the album, this would easily be as good as debuts get. As it is, it’ll easily be the soundtrack to the rest of my summer.

Overleaf: watch the "Killer Bangs" video


The album is frustratingly, inconsistently, halfway to fantastic

rating

Editor Rating: 
4
Average: 4 (1 vote)

Share this article

Add comment

Subscribe to theartsdesk.com

Thank you for continuing to read our work on theartsdesk.com. For unlimited access to every article in its entirety, including our archive of more than 10,000 pieces, we're asking for £3.95 per month or £30 per year. We feel it's a very good deal, and hope you do too.

To take an annual subscription now simply click here.

And if you're looking for that extra gift for a friend or family member, why not treat them to a theartsdesk.com gift subscription?

newsletter

Get a weekly digest of our critical highlights in your inbox each Thursday!

Simply enter your email address in the box below

View previous newsletters