Over long autumn evenings I usually get in the mood for ethereal, shoegaze-y sounds which help me get through shite, sunless weather. It should come as no surprise that some of the best representatives of this category originate from the U.K and Ireland – the rainy and gloomy home countries of the queen, fish and fries and leprechauns, and also My Bloody Valentine, Lush, Slowdive, Cocteau Twins, Siouxsie and the Banshees… you catch my drift.
Honeyblood is a fairly new band which easily can join the aforementioned group. Their eponymous first album delivers a brilliant dose of indie lo-fi rock with shoegaze and riot-grrrl undertones (Sleater-Kinney, Bikini Kill). The music of this Scottish duo, consisting of Stina Marie Claire Tweeddale (vocals and guitar) and Cat Myers (vocals and drums, previously Shona McVicar), echoes with the 90s nostalgia and sensibility.
Honeyblood reinforced my newfound love for Scotland. The girls achieve pretty rich sound considering it’s just drums and guitar (well, there are more instruments on the CD, but it’s not a game-changing addition). I adore Stina Tweeddale’s voice and the prominent ‘r’ sounds she makes (go figure) – I find them adorable but I’m just weird like that.
The album clocks in at little under 40 minutes, with 12 songs total and it seems about right to keep it enjoyable and fresh (to be honest I jam to this thing back-to-back few times before I’m satisfied).
Honeyblood has few stand-outs – Super Rat, Bud (previously released as single), Chocker and Braidburn Valley. The first one is a quirky-worded, sort of humorous track with laid-back verses and angry chorus (‘You really do disgust me’) – Tweeddale’s insults strike as being refined and polite.
Chocker is a quite dark song, inspired by ‘The Bloody Chamber’ by Angela Carter. I actually went ahead and read the story – not really a piece of literature I’d personally recommend, but it’s good to know how Choker came about –the song condenses the plot nicely.
Braid Burn Valley is the end track. A powerful, somewhat pessimistic ballad, but I get a strange sense of hope and bliss out of this one (‘Another fucking bruise, But this one looks just like a rose.’). This song is followed by the hidden, actual final tune entitled Blink, Now You’ve Missed It. While post-credits scenes in Marvel movies are probably more impactful and exciting, it’s a nice treat nonetheless.
Besides these favorites of mine, there are no bad numbers on the album really – Fall Forever and Biro are rockers, I love the rhythm in Fortune Cookie… It’s nitpicking but my only complaint would be pointed toward All Dragged Up and Killer Bangs, which sound a tad too much like Le Tigre or Veruca Salt.
In the end, Honeyblood is as solid as it gets, a recommended listen!
I love their version of Green Day’s When I Come Around