It’s been about six months since The Welcome finished up their year of releasing an EP every month. In that time they churned out some good songs, but toward the end I felt like they lost a bit of steam. The last three that they released all kinda ran together for me, and I was glad to have the series done so the band could sit back and regroup.
Honey, Honey is the title of their new EP, and it’s exactly what I had been hoping for. The band goes in a completely new direction. They’ve added some grit while maintaining their pop sensibility. Much of the credit, in my opinion, can be given to Sarah Johnson. She was a late addition in the one-a-month series, and I believe some of that time was spent trying to figure out the new group dynamic. She and Gehring Miller split the vocals pretty evenly and everything feels much more comfortable than their last outing.
An even bigger factor than Sarah’s increased role is the bands willingness to take chances. It’s clear from the first track, “Don’t Need Detectives,” that things have changed. Gehring is playing a wild guitar solo, Casey is driving the band with his drum and Jonah is laying down the bass lines with renewed passion.
All the songs on Honey, Honey are more aggressive than anything The Welcome has put out to date-with the exception of “I Saw Buildings,” which feels like it could have been a leftover song from their previous work. They still provide sharp songwriting and stellar instrumentation, but this new EP takes them in directions I assumed they had chosen to avoid.
I’m excited to check out a live show as soon as I can. It seems line they’re one of those bands where no matter how had I try, our schedules never mesh. May 10 they play Beat Kitchen, and I’m excited to hear them rip into these new songs at a great, intimate venue.