Music Review: Honeyblood’s ambitious, unsettled Babes Never Die is a riotous success

The duo Honeyblood is frequently compared to The Jesus And Mary Chain, which is a flattering (albeit limiting and superficial) assessment. Sure, both groups hail from Scotland, and each favors fuzzy shoegaze with decidedly lo-fi tendencies. However, their paths diverge from there: Honeyblood—vocalist-guitarist Stina Tweeddale and drummer-vocalist Cat Myers—in particular takes a bittersweet, grayscale-tinted approach to its girl-group homages, and leverages its minimalist, two-player arrangements in inventive ways. For example, the otherwise-riotous 2015 single “The Black Cloud” boasts a tranquil instrumental bridge with layers of starry-eyed, psych-kissed vocals.

Songwriting-wise, Honeyblood has also improved by leaps and bounds since its 2014 self-titled debut. In fact, the irresistible Babes Never Die completely eschews the JAMC’s lysergic approach in favor of brisk, ambitious songcraft and influences: spring-loaded modern emo-pop (the title track), snarling pogo-punk (“Sea Hearts”), and moody Britpop (“Hey, Stellar,” the Lush-like “Sister Wolf”). The ’60s-reminiscent, garage/surf-rock standout …

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