Tag Archives: Honeyblood

Honeyblood – Babes Never Die [FatCat]

Two years after their self-titled debut album, Glaswegian pair Stina Tweeddale and Cat Myres return with Babes Never Die – an album fuelled by an authoritative female voice and strong musical accompaniment.

Honeyblood begin the album with a 42-second ‘Intro’ – where we are introduced to the brash, bold sound which will follow throughout the album, alongside underlying whispers from Tweeddale and Myres, which crescendos into ‘Babes Never Die.’

The title track is, by far, the strongest track on the album; Tweeddale’s authentic vocals flow through a heavy and aggressive accompaniment, led by Myres on drums, however this changes to a short, poppy chorus, which peeks through the haze of forceful guitar and drums.

Opening single ‘Ready For The Magic’ takes us back to Honeyblood’s debut in style at least, but showcases how far they have come since then with an infectious chorus and confident, bold lyrics and vocals – a signature features that defines Honeyblood.

‘Love Is A Disease’ and ‘Walking At Midnight’ take Honeyblood down a darker route, moving away from their poppy roots and experimenting with more intense lyrics and style.

This experimentation comes across well and shows their ability to maintain a style they are known for, whilst also throwing something new into the mix.

On the flipside ‘Cruel’ is more stripped back than what has previously been heard, allowing Tweeddale’s haunting vocals and emotional lyrics to be pushed to the forefront.

Honeyblood have come a long way since their debut album, and Babes Never Die shows that they have the ability to tread more complex lyrical territories than recounting hatred towards ex’s and bad relationships, while maintaining that gritty and raw sound.

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Words: Orla Brady

Honeyblood at The Hug and Pint, 26/9/16

The Hug and Pint is already tightly packed two hours before Honeyblood are due on stage, amplifying the fact that the band are way bigger than this venue, and that Glasgow really loves Honeyblood.

They kick off with ‘Ready for The Magic’, the first single from their upcoming album Babes Never Die, and though full of their trademark ferocity, the band seem to take a couple of songs to warm up to top form.

By the time they get to ‘Choker’, they are very much the Honeyblood we know and love and the crowd is in full swing too.

The duo always sound much more aggressive live than they do on record, where there’s a sweeter, dreamy kind of quality; it’s great to hear both sides but this raw energy really suits them and it’ll be interesting to see how much of that features on the next album.

Cat Myers’ drumming is impressive throughout and is exhausting just to watch, while singer and guitarist Stina Tweeddale’s instantly recognisable voice shows off the band’s uniqueness.

This is only the second time they have played the Babes Never Die album live and though it is a privilege to be one of the first to hear it, at several points the crowd seem eager to hear their old favourites so didn’t always give the new songs their full attention, shame as the new tracks sound great with ‘Walking at Midnight’ featuring an excellent vocal performance and a wonderfully atmospheric feel.

Although perhaps the older songs have been somewhat neglected, as when Myers suggests they would be taking requests the first three were denied, with Tweeddale stating, “Cat doesn’t know those ones!”

She did know ‘Fall Forever’ though, which sounds even better live than on the record and is met with the loudest sing-along of the evening.

The encore gives the fans what they want in the form of ‘Super Rat’ and ‘Killer Bangs’, which send everyone into a frenzy of singing and dancing for the perfect ending to what already feels like a pretty special night.

Seeing the band in such a small venue makes it easy to forget that this is not just a small band playing a casual gig, and that Honeyblood are actually fast-becoming a big deal internationally, with an American headline tour next on their schedule.

Tweeddale announces that they will be playing at Saint Luke’s when the new album comes out, which will hopefully be a great gig once fans have had chance to take the new material to heart.

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Words/Photos: Shannon McGarrity

Honeyblood – ‘Ready For The Magic’ [FatCat]

Honeyblood crashed onto the scene in 2014 with their critically acclaimed debut album and have since remained one of Glasgow’s most exciting bands.

‘Ready For The Magic’ is the first single from their upcoming second album and introduces a more polished-sounding Honeyblood – but don’t worry, that grungey 90’s vibe is definitely still there.

There’s plenty of reverb and distortion, coupled with Stina Tweedale’s instantly recognisable style which perfectly blends slick vocals with indignant shouts and sugary harmonies with drummer Cat Myers.

The band describe the track as “discopunk” and that perfectly sums up how they add a raw, frantic edge to a song that really makes you want to dance.

‘Ready For The Magic’ is insanely catchy, and when it’s this good you won’t be complaining about it being stuck in your head.

The band’s next album, Babes Never Die, has just been announced for release in November; so catch them at The Hug and Pint next month if you can because it won’t be long until they’re selling out much bigger venues.

Words: Shannon McGarrity

Honeyblood, Martha Ffion, The Van T’s at The Art School, 18/9/15

For anyone unaware, Honeyblood is a pop-duo who are riding high on a fuzzy wave; they have an excellently melodic debut album behind them (just now gearing up for number two) and last week took to Murrayfield to warm the stadium up for Foo Fighters.

Martha Ffion and The Van T’s have been invited to The Art School for the same reason this evening and having heard of both through various social media channels, but unwisely sleeping on actually bothering to check them out, I go to the venue ear-blind, hoping that they’ll impress.

The Van T's

The Van T’s are first to tackle a typically timid early audience that doesn’t really reciprocate the grungy, pummelling chugs of the young rockers, but everyone moves forward when asked anyway and the atmosphere slowly shifts to feel more open and welcoming.

Fronted by duel female vocals from the Thompson twins, the emphasis of their sound undeniably sways in favour of energy over bells-and-whistles musicianship, but this old school, punky approach is probably one of the reasons that attention has been finding its way to them.

In a (very American) word: badass.

The Van T’s are badass.

Martha Ffion

Martha Ffion then takes us from the 90’s to the 50’s and 60’s, with the kind of sugary rhythms that white suburbanites feared would turn their innocent children into Satan worshipping sex monsters.

In other words, Ffion’s fun and upbeat performance channels the spiritual soundtrack of a day void of responsibility at the beach.

Her backing band also deserve a mention for being polished and rough-round-the-edges at the same time, and they add a tonne to the vibe.

Honeyblood2

The atmosphere once again changes when Honeyblood grab their instruments and get going.

It’s an undeniable smack of headliner-ness that fills the air and even though the two supports did well, Stina Tweeddale and Cat Myers show that the live chops developed over the weeks and months of touring can’t truly be honed any other way.

Tweeddale is a chirpy, natural frontwoman and she wails the first few words in ‘Fall Forever’ with shiver-inducing conviction.

This first song more or less encapsulates what Honeyblood’s sound is: sweet, riot girl vocals; punk drums; reverb and fuzz laden guitar.

It’s a bit of a shame, but the audience (myself included) largely don’t seem able to make the transition from the awkward observer to the participating jumper-arounder that would accompany the music so well (though kudos to the girl at the front going mental).

Honeyblood glide through their set with enthusiasm anyway and Tweeddale gets a laugh when she tells that the song ‘(I’d Rather Be) Anywhere But Here’ is about Glasgow “in the sweetest way possible”.

They play some new songs too, and though there seems to be some apprehension about whether the crowd will like them or not, they take their winning formula and build on it in a way that shows definite progression without trying too hard to create something new and fresh.

‘Super Rat’ for me is the absolute highlight of tonight, starting off with a gentle swing and ending with an aggressive punch.

This is the first time I’ve seen the band so I didn’t hear them with the former and original drummer, but tonight Myers absolutely tears this track apart, thrashing away and putting herself ahead of any other rock drummers I’ve seen in recent memory.

It’s genuinely a very inspired performance that absolutely nails the balance between playing to add to the songs and sweeping the room with high-velocity fills that never seem self-indulgent.

So inspired in fact that Tweeddale has arranged to mark the one year anniversary of Myers joining with a cake and some socks adorned by cats and lightning bolts.

The show certainly isn’t short of quirks, with a third member even being plucked from the audience at one point to play tin whistle on a song.

Tweeddale exclaims how lame encores are before a solo performance of ‘Kissing on You’ and they end on a high of fuzzy rock with ‘No Spare Key’.

More Photos

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Words: Greg Murray
Photos: Stewart Fullerton

Gentlemen of the Road Stopovers – Aviemore (Saturday)

So, the journey starts and after managing to rally through the torrential rain and glide the car through five to 20 inches of mud to the camping field, it’s time to get dirty.

Waking up on the Saturday morning after a masterful live set by Ben Howard – he’s even better live than on record – never failing to lean on a more experimental side live, the scene is perfect, the sun is out, and the first band starts.

The optimist would say it’s going be a great day (who cares about the weather… right?!!), the people of Scotland know what to expect and the sense of irony is never lost with attire consisting of shorts and t-shirts and a pair of wellies.

WHITE are clearly enjoying climbing the ladders and playing any gig or festival they can get their hands on.

The Bowie-esque sounds and 80s influenced pop conjure up a dark energetic performance; it’s a great wake-up call.

Honeyblood

Next up, Honeyblood are seriously up against it as the buzz in the crowd is drowned out by the torrential rain.

Shelter seems to be a preferential option for the mildly inquisitive early birds; not quite a meeting of the birds and the bees, Honeyblood are skilful and precise, but never quite reach the climax in their stronger songs (the lack of bass really seems to hurt their musical scope on the big stage).

Credit to the band however, as they are true professionals working hard to give the audience their money’s worth.

Jack-Garratt-(Aviemore-Stopover)-Derek-Robertson-005

Jack Garratt follows, and the crowd burst forth; perhaps curiosity decides to combat the rain, perhaps it is the lure of a one-man band and what looks like an oddly positioned afternoon DJ set, perhaps his first single has gathered some momentum from the regular Radio 1 spins, or perhaps, just perhaps, crowds can still appreciate gifted artistry.

With decisive beats offset with candidly sincere lyricism, Garratt is all funk without lacking the soul.

The crowd appreciate Jack, but the appreciation is mutual, Garratt’s fisty cuffs to fire the crowd up as well as the sun gods – who manage to show face – all work in harmony with the mood.

Funky and stuffed with soul, Garrett gains rapturous applause; just watch him rise (already tweeting that his latest single is A-list on Radio 1).

Lianne La Havas

Sweet and striking, Lianne La Havas proves that charm and perfect pitch can be wrapped up in the same package.

Already possessing a steady fan base, it is evident that La Havas works hard at her craft and the crowd are in awe of this soulful multi-instrumentalist.

The rain pays another visit during the set but “WELCOME TO SCOTLAND” from a cheeky crowd member keeps the atmosphere light.

The crowd stick around, regardless to witness the multifaceted set, which ranges from classy soul, experimental yet commercially adept jazz to sultry rock, without the proverbial sore thumb sticking out; unstoppable; Lianne La Havas is in it for the long haul.

The Maccabees have quietly been building on their fan base throughout the years now with an unassuming humbleness that is exuded on stage.

With their new album, Marks To Prove It, being released just a couple of days before, the boys are on top form today, bashfully announcing titles from their new record before mesmerising the crowd with a great physical performance.

The crowd totally buy into the new and the old; highlights include an impromptu appearance by Marcus Mumford, who performs guitar duties on ‘Pelican’, and Felix White’s charming manoeuvre’s on stage – nodding and gesticulating whilst throwing a couple of winks out towards the crowd.

Cheesy, maybe, but one thing is for sure, the band are clearly having fun up north playing in such a beautiful location.

Primal Scream 3

Primal Scream’s Bobby Gillespie takes to the stage next; arms cloaked in animal print and his legs wearing their strut, he seems to exude the physicality of somebody at least half his age; this is a party, quite literally.

One could quite easily forget the number of hits that Gillespie and his cohorts have under their belt; with such a myriad of albums – each with a sense of their own identity due to the current cultural zeitgeist at the time of release – we get a no holds barred rock ‘n’ roll extravaganza for the first couple of tunes.

Which, subsequently move to the more psychedelic and pop-tastic sounding sing-a-longs from Screamadelica.

Finally it seems Gillespie and co. have given it all, and the thumping dance beats and pounding bass of ‘Swastika Eyes’ perforates the eardrums of unsuspecting victims in the crowd (who, by this point, would be none the wiser as to who was one stage).

Mumford and Sons are surely sent musical waves of trepidation with the prospect of coming on after the best performance of the day as Gillespie and co. deliver a rock ‘n’ roll party extravaganza (why were Primal Scream not one of the major acts at T in the Park?!!).

Mumford and Sons make ubiquitous appearances on stage throughout the day, ensuring that the whole event is sound; this is their event and credit to them.

With their set time coming in at two hours, it’s testament to the reciprocity that is deserved between themselves and the crowd.

It’s a nice sentiment and when the hits are played, they were played with an exquisite passion, the quartet – along with their live musicians – are obviously having a great time with a fantastic catalogue of hits.

With songs like ‘The Cave’, ‘Lover’s Eyes’, ‘Winter Winds’, ‘Timshel’, ‘Lover of the Light’, ‘Awake My Soul’, ‘I Will Wait’, ‘Little Lion Man’, ‘Below My Feet’ and ‘Ghosts That We Knew’, the set is an eclectic fusion of the moody and the upbeat, leaving left no one complaining.

A satisfying result for Mumford I’m sure, having proclaimed during the set, “from this point on we are not going to care about how we sound, and you are not going to care… we are just going to have fun!”

And if that wasn’t enough to whet the appetite of the hardcore festival punters, Simian Mobile Disco finish off the night with a rip roaring set – hitting the brown note a good couple of times going by the colour of the punters; fantastic.

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Words/Photos: Derek and Jayjay Robertson

Round-Up: Errors, BBC at the Quay, Ariana Grande, Lovers Turn To Monsters

So, in a bit of a trip from the usual review filled generalities I decided I would put up a bit of round up post Primavera of my musical adventures, of which there have been a few, all coming in a ridiculous haze that hasn’t faded two weeks later (me and Nick are going to piece together some memories of that too for your pleasure, but that’ll come later).

Arriving back to all the glory of the cold of Partick, via Prestwick, in the early hours of Wednesday morning it took a good deal of time before I was prepared to leave the comfort of the flat, eventually emerging for work and then making it along to the Detour event with Errors at the Science Centre as part of the BBC at the Quay proceedings.

Errors have consistently been one of the best acts in Glasgow for a good time now, 11-years they’ve been going, with five highly impressive albums under their belt; so understandably it was pretty exciting having the prospect of seeing them in a unique and potentially awe inspiring setting.

Sadly there’s no science tonight, we turn up to the Science Centre to find it’s all set up for them to play in the foyer; slight disappointment, maybe this won’t live up to the ear splitting show they played at the Opry at few years back.

Still, it’s pretty brilliant, but when are they not, they submerge us in tunes from their brilliant floaty new record, Lease of Life, as well as treating us to an array older numbers by the mid point of the set there’s not a single person without a bounce in their step.

Some immersive visuals project cleanly onto both the side walls, but they are most impressive when directed onto the band making the boys seem like they’re playing in some kind dream-scene wash of colour.

Indeed the high point of the set comes when the band are joined by the Glad Community Choir, who add a whole new dimension to the typical Errors set in a unique and truly beautiful moment.

By the time the band finish up they’ve got everyone’s toes tapping, and foyer or no foyer they’ve produced something, yet again, that reminds us why these guys are so good; well worthy of their SAY Award nomination.

Still, recovering we skip ahead to Sunday, potentially even more recovering after a messy Saturday, but it’s lovely outside the West End Festival is starting and stuff seems to be happen all over the city – odd day to fire a full day worth of live music at the BBC when the West End’s biggest party of the year is happening just half-an-hour’s walk away.

I do make the track over the river, however fail abysmally to get there in any reminisce of time and from word around miss a few belting sets.

Just after I arrive uncle Vic is up on stage introducing Kobi Onyame, an act I’ve been aware of but never really had the chance to check out properly.

One thing that can’t be said is the Ghanaian, Scotland based, MC is that he doesn’t put his all into stirring up a reaction from the pretty sparse audience, we do see lingers of dancing here and there, but it doesn’t quite wash as those in attendance switch from shades and no jacket to jacket and no shades as Glasgow’s nice weather draws to a close.

United Fruit take it up a notch; it’s been a while since I’ve seen these guys but frontman Iskander Stewart seems in fair spirit, talking jovially with the crowd before exploding into another track.

There’s been a few new tracks kicking about by these guys in recent months, but those tracks don’t quite give the impression of their live show.

It’s powerful, loud, life affirming stuff and if they can translate this live feel into their new record they’ll be a formidable force to deal with.

It’s pretty chilly by the time one of last year’s bands of the last year, Honeyblood, take the stage, but the duo do their upmost to maintain that sunny feel with the sundrenched melodies of last year’s self titled debut album.

It’s a nice way to spend the early part of a Sunday evening as Stina Tweedale’s bittersweet lyrics drift addictively over the Quay, while the band’s 90s alternative sound gives enough of an illusion of warmth to keep the shivers away before we all have to make that trek home.

Next up is an odd one, well it isn’t, it’s one me and my flatmate talked forever about needing to go to, but also one that has drawn questionable looks from most when I do talk about it.

It indeed is glossy pop Princess Ariana Grande at The Hydro; we’re running late by the time we get to Glasgow’s state of the art arena, missing yesteryear’s Nickelodeon star’s entrance, but only missing ‘Bang Bang’ in terms of tracks, which as her material goes is pretty mince.

The set itself is the spectacle you’d expect from a pop show of this magnitude, as Grande draws on material from her two album to date, 2013’s Yours Truly and last year’s fantastic My Everything, she floats above the stage on a cloud, gets lowered down on a chandelier, has as many costume changes as humanly possible and has a host of collaborators (Mac Miller, Childish Gambino et al.) show up on custom video to piece together the set.

None of that is the most outstanding factor though, it’s that this girl can sing and I mean really sing! She doesn’t seem to ooze the charm of Katy Perry or the charisma of Beyoncé, but if it came down to chops alone wee Ariana would be well up there.

That tag of the next Maria Carey isn’t a bad one to hold, but this girl shows all signs of potentially passing that and if album number three keeps up the trajectory there won’t be a single person that doesn’t know her name.

So onto Tuesday and it goes from pop princess to lo-fi pop… princess? Nah we can’t quite go there, Kyle Wood aka Lovers Turn To Monsters plays his cassette launch with full band at Bloc and out of all the times I’ve seen this boy, whose garden I can see from the bedroom window of my parent’s house, this is potentially the best.

Support comes from the acoustic punk of Roscoe Vacant, whose sometimes poignant, sometimes heartfelt, generally amusing words warm the Bloc audience before Calum West’s project Young Skulls takes us down a much more fuzzy and indulgent path to make way for the tonight’s headliner.

Like I was saying, I’m no stranger to a Lovers Turn To Monsters set, he usually emits a shambolic charm, as his quirkly tales, that he seems to have no end of, never fail to amuse and warm any crowd.

Tonight it’s a bit different though, he tells me he’s “no steamin’”, something he’s not done on stage in a while, still he goes some way to sorting this before and during the set, sending drummer Barry Carty to get shots mid set while he plays while he plays an acoustic number.

That said, tonight Kyle has his game face on, the tunes seem more refined with the full band, and although he still seems produce the most prolific amount of material around, he’s definitely got better at channeling the gems in that selection.

His banter tonight is top notch too, maybe it’s luck or maybe it’s that he’s playing to a room here to see him, but every word he utters between songs seems like gold, where before it might have been awkward drunken observation, tonight it’s poignant, comical sentiment.

The set blasts through those lo-fi vibes, but gets beefed up without losing that shambolic charm, indeed as he stands in the audience screaming “you’re a rain cloud” during ‘Me; Crying As A Kid’ it seems he’s in his element; impressive stuff.

Words: Iain Dawson

Album of 2014

Andrew Person & Lovers Turn To Monsters – Everything We Miss17 Andrew Pearson & Lovers Turn To Monsters – Everything We Miss [Common]

A combination of two endearing singer-songwriters, brought together under the umbrella of Common Records in the dismal Glaswegian rain, resulting in an equally endearing collection of tracks. Taking a song each throughout the track listing, the single ‘Juan Antonio’ is a standout track in an octet of tracks that will coax out a tear if you let them. (Kyle McCormick)

[review]

Fat-Suit – Jugaad17 Fat-Suit – Jugaad [Equinox]

With a 15 strong collective of highly trained musicians, in the later part of 2014 Fat-Suit released an instrumental album of innumerable sounds and styles all expertly welded together. Tight grooves splashed with influences from traditional Scottish music and a heavy emphasis on jazz and experimenting ensures that Jugaad is a big, unique flag planted firmly in a Scottish music scene which is very lucky to have Fat-Suit in its midst. (Greg Murray)

[review]

National Jazz Trio of Scotland – Standards Volume III17 National Jazz Trio of Scotland – Standards: Volume III [Karoke Kalk]

Bill Wells has made his name by his collaborations and his experimentations, which often take him to pry the envelope of pop music to great result, at first, Standards: Volume III could appear to be a glossy but unwavering pop album, but upon repeated listens this record is a richly endearing effort for fans and casual listeners alike.

[review]

The Amazing Snakeheads – Amphetamine Ballads17 The Amazing Snakeheads – Amphetamine Ballads [Domino]

Amphetamine Ballads does take some warming to, but after a number of listens and a full appreciation of its delightfully refined latter half, this album is undoubtedly one to be treasured if it appeals to your sense of artistry.

[review]

Withered Hand – New Gods15 Withered Hand – New Gods [Fortuna Pop]

New Gods might at first fool you as sounding like inoffensive dentist-waiting-room shmooth-fm folk-pop; clean but still sensibly naturalistic production, tons of hooks, catchy choruses, acoustic guitars and simple song structures; yet lurking in the lyrics there’s an extremity of emotional tension that swings between stark ugly introspection on one hand and manic optimism on the other.

[review]

Andrew Montgomery – Ruled By Dreams15 Andrew Montgomery – Ruled By Dreams

Former Geneva vocalist Andrew Montgomery went solo with Ruled By Dreams, and has successfully created an album that showcases his writing strengths, both musically and lyrically.

[review]

Thin Privilege - Thin Privilege12 Thin Privilege – Thin Privilege [Struggletown]

For me, Thin Privilege is the band of 2014. With their intense live show alienating crowds’ left, right and centre, I had very high hopes for this record and was not disappointed. This noisy, duel bass assault of an album really grasps the energy of what this very short-lived band was. (Iain Gillon)

[review]

Jonnie Common – Trapped In Amber12 Jonnie Common – Trapped In Amber [Song, by Toad]

Bizarre in all the right places, in all the right ways, Trapped In Amber is perhaps best described as “bizarre pop” as a direct consequence. Pleasingly simple soundscapes provide the backdrop to lyrics that span the board from drama to comedy, with hints of balladry (‘Fractal’), hip-hop (‘Crumbs’) and amazement (‘Binary 101’) all contributing to a record of abundant imagination. (Kyle McCormick)

[review]

Young Fathers – Dead12 Young Fathers – Dead [Anticon/Big Dada]

2014 was Young Fathers’ year, taking home award after award with critical acclaim following them at every turn. Dead was the centre piece of it all, an intoxicating multicultural record that took elements of hip-hop, electronica and pop and put Scottish music firmly back on the musical map.

Rustie – Green Language11 Rustie – Green Language [Warp]

Rustie deserves every single bit of credit that comes his way, while fellow Glaswegian label mate Hudson Mohawke jets off with the glamorous names, Rustie has stuck to his guns and make a record that feels like natural progression. Green Language has all of Rustie’s punch and some very special moments, still we can’t help feel his best is yet to come and we can’t wait.

Beerjacket – Darling Darkness10 Beerjacket – Darling Darkness

Darling Darkness makes for a relaxing listen, but there’s more to it. There’s a depth and texture that goes beyond your ordinary singer songwriter. To mark 10 years of Beerjacket, Peter Kelly has released a beautiful, cosy, folk masterpiece. (Alisa Wylie)

The Twilight Sad – Nobody Wants To Be Here and Nobody Wants To Leave8 The Twilight Sad – Nobody Wants To Be Here and Nobody Wants To Leave [FatCat]

One of the years later releases but well worth the wait, aside from their debut it could be their best yet. The production values like always are superb and the songs reek of melancholic angst and pain just what you’d expect from Scotland’s gloomiest export. The album deserves all the praise it gets. (Phil Allen)

[review]

Mogwai – Rave Tapes8 Mogwai – Rave Tapes [Rock Action]

A lush set of songs that breathe a warm melancholia; flourishes of ambient and electro sounds underpinned by one of the great guitar arsenals in all of music. (Brendan Sloan)

[review]

Stanley Odd – A Thing Brand New7 Stanley Odd – A Thing Brand New [A Modern Way]

The Edinburgh sextet’s third album sees them at their creative best, with their usual concoctions of politics, pop culture and poetry shifted into the next razor sharp gear. Tackling issues of parenthood and imperialism, likely catalysed by recent arrivals and national political awakenings, among other things, A Thing Brand New is thought-provoking and head-nodding perfection. (Kyle McCormick)

[review]

Fatherson – I Am An Island6 Fatherson – I Am An Island [A Modern Way]

Incredible, conceptual debut from a band that looks set to take off in a big way in 2015. Sounds absolutely massive. (Alisa Wylie)

[review]

PAWS – Youth Culture Forever4 PAWS – Youth Culture Forever [FatCat]

Youth Culture Forever might be the perfect follow up to Cokefloat! It takes its predecessors themes and then follows up on them, while also covering some new ground; plus the production is a serious step up and it shows. (Phil Allen)

[review]

Deathcats – All Hail Deathcats4 Deathcats– All Hail Deathcats [Fuzzkill]

I never thought Deathcats would get a full LP release, 2014 truly was a brilliant year for Scottish music. From the get go Deathcats display a penchant for crafting some of the most infuriatingly brilliant melodies in recent memory. Aside from this it’s great to see the band really test their limits and put some of their live show into the record with the great linking sections between songs. (Phil Allen)

[review]

Algernon Doll – Omphalic3 Algernon Doll – Omphalic [Struggletown]

Emo/alt-rock is a genre I that I don’t often indulge in anymore but every so often something pops up which shakes me from that angsty slumber and reminds me that it’s still possible to create original and awesome sounding music in that style. Ewan Grant’s Algernon Doll and their album Omphalic is the perfect example of this, and legendary producer Steve Albini will no doubt help them carry their momentum into next year, with their fourth release in as many years. (Greg Murray)

[review]

King Creosote – From Scotland With Love2 King Creosote – From Scotland With Love [Domino]

A stirring celebration of Scottish pride and resolve; a profoundly evocative album, which handles its subject matter with gentle reverence. This record is nothing less than a masterpiece, and its release saw it receive the critical acclaim that it rightly deserves. The album provided an evocative accompaniment to Virginia Heath’s documentary of the same title, although despite its status as a soundtrack, it is a piece of art in its own right (Brendan Sloan/Ellen Renton)

[review]

Honeyblood – Honeyblood1 Honeyblood – Honeyblood [FatCat]

Glaswegian duo Honeyblood’s self-titled debut unleashes a wave of emotionally aggressive lyrics mixed with sweet melodies and harmonies reminiscent 90s grunge and fitting to their name. The band’s stripped back and minimal setup is compelling, allowing vocalist Stina Tweeddale to showcase her enchanting voice. (Jess Lavin)

[review]

Tracks of 2014

Atom Tree – ‘Sinner’19 Atom Tree – ‘Sinner’ [Hotgem]

The opening track of the Glasgow electronic trio’s latest EP, Clouds, introduced us to vocalist Julie Knox, who’s powerful and emotive voice slides brilliantly into Atom Tree’s deep synthpop, alerting people the trio on a much bigger scale than before, and rightfully so.

Call To Mind – ‘Breathe’19 Call To Mind – ‘Breathe’ [Olive Grove]

Beautiful and euphoric, Call To Mind’s musical masterpiece is the crowning jewel of their debut album, and with accenting piano and sultry vocals, it is everything that Coldplay think they are, but infinitely better. (Kyle McCormick)

The Duke, Detriot – ‘Accerate’19 The Duke, Detroit – ‘Accelerate’ [Deaf By Stereo]

The Duke, Detroit’s sleek and stylish single threw us, spinning and stumbling back in time to the mid-80s, but they managed to bring it back to life without sounding like poor mimics of the past.

[review]

Owl John__Frightened_Rabbit_Side__Project-750x018 Owl John – ‘Los Angeles, Be Kind’ [Atlantic]

Drawing from Scott Hutchison’s emigration to California, the video starts with footage of Scotland, which slowly blends into the bright, optimistic lights of L.A, and probably says more of this achingly melancholy song than a simple review could. (Greg Murray)

Hudson Mohawke – ‘Chimes’16 Hudson Mohawke – ‘Chimes’ [Warp]

HuMo keeps getting bigger and bigger and with a glorious homecoming at East End Social’s Last Big Weekend and this release on Warp it seems his momentum is still building.

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Mogwai-Rave-Tapes-608x60816 Mogwai – ‘Remurdered’ [Rock Action]

2014 saw Glasgow’s post rock behemoths shift away their meatier riffage of recent years and move towards a chilling atmospheric vive, they’re still loud though and the asphyxiating ‘Remurdered’ is one of the best examples of their recent work.

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Vasa – ‘Not A Cop’13 Vasa – ‘Not A Cop’

Intricate and captivating, Vasa’s stand-alone single has an unrelenting urgency at its core, but with layers of percussion and masterful guitars cleverly bolted on, ‘Not A Cop’ shines a light on a promising future. (Kyle McCormick)

[review]

The Twilight Sad – ‘Last January’13 The Twilight Sad – ‘Last January’ [FatCat]

Nobody Wants To Be Here and Nobody Wants To Leave was heralded as a return to form for one of Scotland’s most powerful yet emotionally draining live acts and ‘Last January’ was the pick of bunch.

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Jonnie Common – ‘Shark’13 Jonnie Common – ‘Shark’ [Song, By Toad]

Burning slowly, ‘Shark’ sees Jonnie Common’s songwriting at a conversational high, built on a foundation of electronics and ingenuity, the canned laughter at the end knows how good it is. (Kyle McCormick)

PAWS – ‘Owl Talons Clenching My Heart’12 PAWS – ‘Owls Talons Clenching My Heart’ [FatCat]

A prime example of PAWS expanded song writing, the cello-laced ‘Owls Talons Clenching My Heart’ pulses solidly along on to Phillip Taylor’s stories of heartache. (Greg Murray)

King Creosote – ‘Something To Believe In’10 King Creosote – ‘Something To Believe In’ [Domino]

The pinnacle of the From Scotland with Love record (no mean feat), ‘Something To Believe In’ combines true and traditional folk with honest lyrics and a painful poignancy. (Ellen Renton)

Skinny Dipper – ‘Hospital Bed’10 Skinny Dipper – ‘Hospital Bed’ [Olive Grove]

Haunting and heart breaking, ‘Hospital Bed’ might just be one of the most beautiful vocals of the year, never mind just in Scotland. (Ellen Renton)

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TeenCanteen – ‘You’re Still Mine’9 TeenCanteen – ‘You’re Still Mine’ [S.W.A.L.K]

Sickly sweet vocals and throbbing synths add playful finger-clicking and loving harmonies to make TeenCanteen’s single a loveable release and introduction to the gifted quartet. (Kyle McCormick)

[review]

Owl John__Frightened_Rabbit_Side__Project-750x08 Owl John – ‘Hate Music’ [Atlantic]

‘Hate Music’ is a cathartic, slide-guitar-and-overdrive pedaled song, which Scott Hutchison claims Frightened Rabbit wouldn’t get away with, about the strains and the bitter tastes left by his revered band and the industry they operated in consistently for ten years. (Greg Murray)

John Knox Sex Club – ‘Minotaur’7 John Knox Sex Club – ‘Minotaur’ [Instinctive Racoon]

Primal and raucous, John Knox Sex Club captures everything they are infamous for in this track, with measured execution descending into enjoyable chaos. (Kyle McCormick)

Tijuana Bibles-500x3726 Tijuana Bibles – ‘Crucifixion’ [Dead Beet]

Tijuana Bibles continue to prove that few bands can write snarling rock classics as well as them. ‘Crucifixion’ has a southern rock swagger that you can’t help bob your head along to, the chorus hook is sublime and the guitar solo is a piece of melodic genius. (Phil Allen)

[review]

Tuff Love – ‘Sweet Discontent’5 Tuff Love – ‘Sweet Discontent’ [Lost Map]

This track was almost everyone’s first introduction to Tuff Love and we immediately fell for the vocal harmonies and that breakneck drumming. It’s no wonder this track garnered them a lot of attention it sounds like effortless genius in the form of a song. (Phil Allen)

Deathcats – ‘Saturday Night Golden Retriever’4 Deathcats – ‘Saturday Night Golden Retriever’ [Fuzzkill]

Sure the bassline sounds like Black Flag but what an intro. Taken from the bands only debut, and looking likely to be only, length album this cut is perhaps one of their most exciting punk throw downs, however it’s given Deathcats patented surf rock treatment with plenty of great backing vocals. (Phil Allen)

Stanley Odd – ‘Son, I Voted Yes’3 Stanley Odd – ‘Son, I Voted Yes’ [A Modern Way]

Stanley Odd’s endearing referendum anthem is made bittersweet given the eventual outcome, but its message of hope and positivity still rings true in a country forging towards a better future. (Kyle McCormick)

unknown2 APACHE DARLING – ‘More Than Me’

The comparisons to CHVRCHES must get tiresome, but one thing that APACHE DARLING does share with the band is their potential for success. ‘More Than Me’ is cool, catchy and clever, and undoubtedly one of Glasgow’s best exports of 2014. (Ellen Renton)

[review]

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Honeyblood – ‘Killer Bangs’1 Honeyblood – ‘Killer Bangs’ [FatCat]

Sweet melodies and some of the crunchiest guitars recorded are staples of ‘Killer Bangs’. It’s hard to believe a two-piece can sound this massive even if it is a studio recording. (Phil Allen)

[review]

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.

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

Honeyblood at CCA, 13/09/14

What Honeyblood lack in stage presence and energy the make up for in cuteness and sincerity, the Glaswegian duo (Stina Tweeddale and Shona McVicar) play tonight’s gig as the end of the Scottish leg, of what is to be a month long UK tour taking them right across the country.

The show is completely sold out and the pair themselves even seem shocked at this, muttering praise and thanks in between songs and at one point Stina even chirps in, “I’ll be over there (points to back of the room) later if anyone wants to come and speak to me, I’ll be selling our record, thanks to Fat Cat Records we actually have stuff to sell”.

It’s funny then not to see the pair seem more energised on stage, but the calm burgeoning melancholy between the pair seems to suit the gait of their music, playing their debut self-titled LP , which was released earlier this year, in its entirety, the pair hurtle through a 50-minute set at breakneck speed.

Considering there is only two people up on the stage wielding a guitar, drum kit and a healthy amount of effects pedals, the pair effortlessly conjure up high volume, lo-fi scuzzy beach pop, no easy feat when you site rain soaked Glasgow as your hometown.

It’s only a few songs in when they unleash ‘Killer Bangs’ an imitable, power thrust of 90’s garage with a boppy, sing-along chorus, which seems to startle the CCA crowd out of their convalescence.

Honeyblood have been compared to bands like The Breeders and PJ Harvey and with songs like ‘Choker’ that has an opening riff that is so uncannily similar to the infamous ‘Cannonball’ it will have you looking around the room just to make sure Kim Deal herself isn’t actually standing up there.

Other stand out tracks include ‘Bud’, which is two-minutes-and-46-seconds of pure whimsical pop, and ‘Fall Forever’, a fussy angular romantic ditty, with the same echoing vocal reverb of Best Coast.

As suspected, popular hit ‘Super Rat’ has the audience ferociously singing out loud the easy to chant chorus of, “I will hate you forever”, a song penned after a cheating boyfriend.

With a quick “thank you” at the end the house lights are turned up abruptly and the band make their way off stage, no doubt to freshen up before heading over to sell some of their records to their keen fan base.

There’s high hopes for the Glaswegian garage duo, they have the sincerity and are refreshingly down to earth, fingers crossed the UK tour does well to bolster their reputation, as one of Glasgow’s finest new upstarts.

More Photos

Words/Photos: Ang Canavan