Scottish grunge pop duo Honeyblood are back with their second album Babes Never Die. It begins with a dirge of an intro that builds up into a grungy crescendo, leading us into title track ‘Babes Never Die’ which is a killer indie pop tune. But it’s not until the scuzzy bassiness of single ‘Ready For The Magic’ kicks in that the record really lifts off. It’s Bikini Kill mixed with Brit pop. The hooks get you singing along before you even know all the words; “Voodoo voodoo where were you?”
Before you’ve recovered, they hit you with ‘Sea Hearts’ which is so catchy that you need to be quarantined after only one listen. It’s Kim Wild’s ‘Kids In America’ reimagined in a Grunge pop style for a new generation. The drums force you to the dancefloor in your mind; “We’re the breakers on the waves / And we’ll break hearts break hearts again.” Then there’s ‘Love Is A Disease’; a mix of Warpaint and Tori Amos; “I don’t need a cure / I just wanna be yours”, sings Stina Tweeddale and I’m hers. We all are.
I always love it when a song starts with gainfully played feedback and ‘Justine, Misery Queen’ delivers, before bursting into a pretty Placebo-esque power pop song. Stina’s voice takes centre stage on ‘Sister Wolf’ another scuzzy pop song with beautiful cooing “ooh-ooh-ooh’s”; it’s lyrically sassy, “pour another one for me/ I’m a walking catastrophe.”
‘Hey, Stellar’ has a more spacious millennial guitar sound to the other tracks as Stina’s voice soars above. “Maybe I am not doing this life thing right” ponders Tweeddale on ‘Cruel.’ Drums ricochet on penultimate track ‘Gangs’ as the vocal chorus kicks in to immense satisfaction. It sounds like if Howling Bells were a grrrl band. It’s another highlight from an album packed with them.
Babes Never Die ably combines the best of Nineties Britpop with Grunge in a beautiful collision of style and lyrical substance. But it’s not a retro record, being very much rooted in the current sonic landscape, adding original touches at every turn. All beautifully carried by Stina’s compelling sugary sweet vocals and Cat Myers’ textured dynamic drumming.
Babes Never Die is out now on Fat Cat Records.