tue 18/06/2019

CD: Honeyblood - In Plain Sight | reviews, news & interviews

CD: Honeyblood - In Plain Sight

CD: Honeyblood - In Plain Sight

Stina Tweeddale goes solo on tricksy third album

Honeyblood delights in a broader sonic palette

At its best, the music of Glasgow band Honeyblood often sounded like a girl gang you weren’t cool enough to be a part of - making the news that singer-guitarist Stina Tweeddale had split with drummer Cat Myers and recast the name as that of a solo project an intriguing prospect. The Honeyblood of In Plain Sight is no less raucous than that of the previous two albums under the name, with a cast of skilled - if anonymous - musicians and US indie super-producer John Congleton on hand to deliver Tweeddale’s garage rock visions. If the result is a little more focused, a little less charming - well, so be it.

The overarching theme is of illusions and trickery from the artwork, by Peruvian painter and illusionist Cecilia Parades; to the deceptive lovers, spurned women and nightmarish visions that haunt these songs. Tweeddale has spoken before of her love of the horror writer Angela Carter and album opener “She’s aNightmare” is vintage Honeyblood: inspired, quite literally, by recurring night terrors, the track finds the singer stalked by a snake-hipped, hungry-lipped vision all the way to the glorious release of the chorus. Elsewhere, Tweeddale casts herself as curser and cursed: a “doe at a dinner party of wolves” on “Gibberish”; a pale-skinned deadly nightshade luring prospective partners to their doom in a hypnotic dance on the bewitching “Tarantella".

Freed from the constants of the guitar-drum model, Tweeddale delights in a broader sonic palette - and, as when too many colours are mixed, the results are not always pretty. “Take the Wheel” aims for big, droney rock song but ends up a bit of a sludgy mess, while “Touch” introduces sci-fi synths to the mix with confusing results. But when she plays to her strengths - the “no-no drama-drama baby” kiss-off chorus of “The Third Degree”, the vulnerable epilogue that is “Harmless” - her vision comes into focus.


Below: watch the "She's A Nightmare" video

The result is a little more focused, a little less charming

rating

Editor Rating: 
3
Average: 3 (1 vote)

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