Label: Fat Cat Records
Female duo from Glasgow Honeyblood is set to release its self-titled debut Honeyblood on July 15th via Fat Cat Records. The record tells an all to familiar story of heartbreak, highlighted by the duo’s angst captured not only in the lyrical content but also the arrangement of the songs, presenting a genre the band prefer to call “crunchy pop.”
The album starts with “Fall Forever,” a punk-rock tune characterized by energetic guitar hooks and drums. What makes Honeyblood stand out is the duo’s ability to feed off of one another’s energy; where one musician’s strength greatly compliments the others. This perfect understanding between the duo is evident throughout the twelve song album, where Stina Maria Claire’s strong and assertive vocals are accompanied by the drummer’s equally loud and powerful arrangements. An example of this lies in the song “Killer Bangs” where the singer is foundreassuring herself of the need for the change in scenery; to opt for solitude, to focus on her career. The spirit of the song captured is in the lyrics “I don’t want to have to go on without you but I have to,” backed up by electric guitar-centered hooks. Although the coordination between the musicians is definitely commendable, an aspect where the album is generally lacking is in the lyrical content of the album. The lyrics sometimes lack depth and vulnerability, a factor that hampers the song’s ability to connect with the listener. Singing about a sewer rat in “Super Rat,” although helps the duo stand out for their quirkiness, also puts them at a disadvantage of not being taken seriously. “No Spare Key” presents the singer at her most vulnerable, declaring her undying love, singing, “I am yours till you don’t want me.” One of the stand-out songs off of the album is the lead single “Choker,” which is an ominous song in terms of the lyrics that circle around the theme of being in a destructive relationship. Claire sings, “I’ve fallen madly in love with a man I can not trust. I don’t think he will hurt me, I know he would, it’s in his blood.” The lyrics present the conflict the singer faces, where despite knowing that she shouldn’t stay, she is trying to convince herself otherwise by reassuring herself that “what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger.”
My preference for sweeter, softer music could be a reason for why this album did not work for me. Though the album-making process was probably a cathartic one for the duo, the angsty musical arrangements accompanied by bitter lyrical undertones leave much to be desired for the listener. The duo is undeniably very talented and greater effort towards song lyrics would allow Honeyblood to evolve their sound greatly, allowing them to express greater vulnerability and be able to connect with the listener through their music.