I first heard the Glaswegian rock duo Honeyblood when they opened up for fellow Scots We Were Promised Jetpacks at Lincoln Hall back in March. By the time they finished their first song, I was sold. I’m always skeptical when it comes to guitar and drum groups-the biggest downside to the rise of groups like The White Stripes and The Black Keys is that any two friends who happen to play guitar/drums think they’re a band. These two seemed to have it figured out, though, and the blend of garage rock and pop was perfectly delivered from the stage to my ears. I went home after the show and pre-ordered their new 7″ single “Killer Bangs” on candy apple red vinyl and haven’t looked back.
It’s felt like a long wait from that night in March to now, but their full-length is finally out and I’m hoping the world is ready for it. None of the 12 songs on the self-titled release stray too far from what I heard them play live, and I’m perfectly ok with that. Stina Tweeddale and Shona McVicar have unlocked some secret formula the witches in MacBeth could have never imagined.
“Killer Bangs” is a superb choice as a single because it hits all the cornerstones that make the album what it is. Tweeddale’s ferocious guitar licks, McVicar’s subtle but unmistakeable driving percussion, and that howling chorus make an incredible first impression. The fact that the album can live up I the hype it creates is a testament to Honeyblood’s talent.
I think my favorite song is “Super Rat.” It borrows from Mazzy Starr and The Breeders in equal amounts and Tweeddale’s lyrics are chilling and raw: “Your love is like a crocodile. Entice you with elegance and style…Still I swam into welcoming jaws.”
As impressed as I was seeing them live, I’m more impressed with their album. It takes a lot to bring as much energy on record as you do in a live show, and Honeyblood has succeeded in capturing that magic here.
You can catch the band on their mostly European tour throughout the summer (including two stops in Chicago July 26 and 27). You can stream this record on Pitchfork Advance right now on your computer (no mobile devices-bs) or pre-order from iTunes. Honeyblood comes out Tuesday July 15th.