Honeyblood - Honeyblood

by Steve Reynolds Rating:7 Release Date:2014-07-14

Two-pieces are all the rage right? No, I am not talking about your next suit purchase, I am referring to bands. However, I’m not sure a two-piece is classed as being a band... Oh eck, I am confusing myself here. But you catch my drift right? White Stripes; Blood Red Shoes; Shit Wife; Lightning Bolt, on and on and on ad infinitum.

Honeyblood are two lasses from Scotland, compromising of singer/guitarist Stina Tweeddale and drummer Shona McVicar. This, their self-titled debut, was recorded in November for Fat Cat and precedes a heavy touring schedule running late into 2014.

From the first few bars, you can tell this is going to be a tempestuous and immediate affair. On opener ‘Fall Forever’, it’s quick of pace, ebullient, with melodic and frenetic guitar, matched simultaneously by McVicar’s pummelling drums.

But it’s not just the music which is muscular and sticky throughout. The lyrics pack a punch too with tales of bitter split-ups and loathsome unfaithful partners, exemplified by ‘Super Rat’: “You’re the smartest rat in the sewer… I will hate you forever… Scumbag, sleaze, slimeball grease, you really do disgust me.”

'Bud' hauls together one notable musical influence - the arrangements of Phil Spector - with its Back to Mono simplicity and Ronettes-style uplifting vocal. In fact, Stina has a tinge of Kim Deal in her delivery. Honeyblood also have the fizz and pizazz of Dum Dum Girls on ‘Biro’ and the man-baiting anger of ‘Choker’.

The lyrics are generally tempered by the sparse but neat arrangements. When Stina and Shona double-up on the vocals on ‘Joey’, they nail it perfectly to create a rich and soothing piece of music, seemingly an ode to the perfect partner: “You don’t know what’s good for you/ I know a thing or two that’s good for you” - a subtle slice of nudge, nudge, wink, wink. “Why won’t you just grow up? Do we have to drag up?” are the centrepiece lyrics on ‘All Dragged Up', an angry riposte to someone who needs a long hard look in the mirror at their general lack of decorum and class.

Honeyblood wear their hearts on their sleeves, not afraid to condemn where they need to. To some people they might be viewed as riot grrrl revitalists with their tetchy attitude and negativity towards the male gene. However, to my ears they just sum up the ups and downs of modern-day relationships and are not afraid to justify their actions.

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