NME Newbreed Tour with Honeyblood at Tut’s, 1/11/14

Glasgow noise pop duo Honeyblood describe themselves as ‘two girls who play some songs about stuff’, which is exactly what they proceed to do tonight in their hometown of Glasgow.

They are not typically a band that one would associate with NME, who are constantly tapping into scenes, creating self-fulfilling prophecies by writing off the very bands they would ass lick when they were flavor of the month.

It’s nice to hear an ambivalent humbleness between Honeyblood’s stage persona and their garage rock/pop, which heralds a certain swagger that rebels in the resonant tinge of grunge.

Honeyblood have a slightly more unrestrained and unrefined sound live compared to the more subdued, but still brilliantly produced (Peter Katis, The National, Interpol), recordings on the album, which is a great addition to their three-minute, no nonsense pop songs.

Stina Tweedale’s vocals range from soft to angsty, mixing both, bite and sweetness to her ambivalent vocal range and Cat Myers is rythmically threatening, helping fill out the sound of the duo.

Their repertoire of surf-pop anthems are filled with myriad influences of earlier bands harking back to the late 80s, early 90s grunge era, mixing Smashing Pumpkins, at their most pop oriented, with Dinosaur Jr., adding the angst of The Replacements and the sentiments of PJ Harvey, however, it doesn’t sound like a haphazard mish-mash of different artists as they have streamlined and molded these influences and funneled them into their own unique sound.

For some reason a lot of lazy assed journalists are comparing Honeyblood to Haim, and I guess that’s because they happen to be female and play some great garage/rock tunes, …and every female outfit that plays guitars and rock out should be compared to Haim, because, …eh, …people like to categorise by creating lazy generalisations.

Truth be told, they have their own original sound.

Tracks that stand out tonight ‘Biro’, ‘No Spare Key’ (with an amazing chorus reminiscent of early Shiny Toy Guns, when they were good), ‘Bud’ (finishing with the fantastic line “hanging on the wall, hanging on the wall, nip it in the bud, nip it in the bud”) and ‘Super Rat’ with the superb lyrical passages including (“Scumbag sleaze, slime ball grease, I will hate you forever,” “you are the smartest rat in the sewer/you know all the nooks and the cracks to allure.”).

Tweedale and Myers excel in creating cracking melodic and grunge fuelled guitar anthems and tonight was a no-holds-barred execution of the sublime.

Words: Derek Robertson
Photos: Tim J Gray at Tartanzone Event Photography

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