Well cats and kittens, it's here. Yes, the self-titled debut from Glasgow's Honeyblood is out this week! Shona McVicar is on the drums and Stina Marie Claire Tweeddale is on guitar and vocals and these 2 ladies have made a fantastic record.
From the crunchy, Lush-like "Fall Forever" to already-familiar indie anthems like "Killer Bangs", the record shows an impressive range of tones and moods. The uptempo fuzzy riff-rockers work better for me than the slower tracks but there's no denying the slow burn of something like "Super Rat" with its Rilo Kiley-meets-Veruca Salt build-up.
"Biro" shows a hint of both The Pixies and spin-off act The Breeders but Stina's vocals are altogether sweeter -- think Bjork's Sugarcubes if the lass had been Scottish.
"Choker" has a trace of The White Stripes to it while "Joey" is like Jenny Lewis sitting in with Belly. Full of melody, a track like that and the faster and familiar "Killer Bangs" have a full sound. Honeyblood manage to do with 2 members what bands with 5 can't. Not only that but the songs here are strong, sometimes hook-filled, and excellently produced. It's hard to believe that this is the first record of a new band.
"Fortune Cookie" reminds me a bit of Juliana Hatfield's Blake Babies but "All Dragged Up" has a near-ska beat that recalls early Arctic Monkeys tracks. The nearly angry refrain of "Why won't you grow up?" would have sounded perfectly normal coming out of Alex Turner's mouth a few years ago and the loping rhythms of the cut made me think favorably of "A Certain Romance" and I can think of no higher praise than that comparison.
Honeyblood is a wonderful debut. Coming out a week after the new magnificent Manics record, and on the same day in the UK as the sublime Childhood album, as well as the new Morrissey, music fans are being richly rewarded in July 2014.
After a few plays of "Bud" and "Killer Bangs" a few months ago, I was hooked on Honeyblood and I highly recommend this album. Stina and Shona have made an awesome and lovely racket here out of a basket of disparate influences. Spin the two cuts below and you'll see what I mean.
In the United States, you can get the album on iTunes here.
In United Kingdom, you can get the album from their home label, FatCat Records.