Scotland has produced so many great bands that when I one of my new favourites are Glaswegians, it just seems logical. Honeyblood is the duo that answers the question “What if you took the grunge tone and cynicism of Nirvana and the pop sense and vocals of Paramore and shrunk it down to the size of the White Stripes?”
Their self-titled debut shows a great knack for layered songwriting and tone-shaping. “Fall Forever” has a great rush and overload to its heavy sections and the vocals are a great chocolaty contrast to the gritty, overdriven guitars and pounding drums. The line “I never knew, eyes were so blue” has a great poetry to it that pulls me in and song’s heavy vs light nature is perfect. “Super Rat” let’s the vocals take lead, and the cynical lyrics become much more prominent. The guitar feels much more tame here but bare their teeth when needed for great a love/hate song.
“(I’d Rather Be) Anywhere But Here” cranks up the Nirvana, for the grungiest track on the record. The vocals seem to be floating in the sea of guitars and they seem to have some salt in them too. The lyrics talk about someone stuck in a situation where they have reached the point where any alternative is better. The line “Auf wiedersehen, so long, so long” is a particularly great line. The garage rock track “Killer Bangs” is my favourite from the album, it mixes fast rock with the big sound of arena rock for a killer track that I want to learn every part to. The drumming sound big and epic and the fills are great, the guitar adds the texture and the vocals and lyrics add a catchy and playful nature to the song that completes the package.
“Biro” has a very water-drenched feel to it, so much so that it sounds like the verse was recorded in the rain, thank to the amazing ride cymbal. The texturing in the verses is deep and when the guitar kicks up in the chorus the vocals hit an echo and gain a magical quality. The bridge bares the line “If I threw my pen into the sea” mentioning the titular Biro pen, and kicks the song back into gear. “Choker” is a darker song which lyrically plays with the idea of pain for pleasure, and how far one will go. Musically the song is distorted and reverb drenched and every chorus is a wash of distortion and group shouting, second best to “Killer Bangs.”