FatCat Records. Released 14th July
Honeyblood went through the unusual step of changing their line-up shortly after the release of their debut, self-titled album, a change in drummers should take nothing away from Shona and Stina's release together (or their live sound since the arrival of new drummer Cat, as a recent performance in Brighton highlighted). Honeyblood is a joy from start to finish, a minimal duo setup that sounds larger and fuller formed than many bigger bands.
There are highlights throughout and singles a-plenty, full of fuzzy, blazing guitar, hard-hitting drums and nonchalant, sun-kissed vocals that is summed up perfectly by the brilliant “Killer Bangs”, a raucous, breathless that's almost as catchy as the infectious refrain of "nip it in the bud!" from "Bud", where a softer jangle guitar is filled with glorious melancholy and sugary vocals on a bittersweet pop gem that's sure to trigger any number of nostalgic memories.
"Choker" sounds like a long lost indie's anthem from the 90's, a track which stand up to anything from The Breeders or Elastica as immediately you are introduced to some beasty guitar riffs and pounding drum beats, the result is liable to cause a celebration of mosh-pit bounce at gigs around call-and-response vocals while another oldie (but goody) is the venomous "Super Rat" which ditches the racing tempo and feedback for cleaner, slacker pop sensibilities, melodic vocals and lyrics about (presumably) someone who Stina doesn't like all too much "I will hate you forever, you really do disgust me". Ouch.
"(I'd Rather Be) Anywhere But Here" is another full of hooks and bounce. Charm is really what Honeyblood is all about, and in that respect the album is a complete success, here's awaiting album two.