Album Review: Honeyblood - Babes Never Die

Honeyblood - Babes Never Die

Scottish duo’s second work is full of devilishly infectious yell-along choruses, call-and-response guitar lines and a heart-warming gang mentality.

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If it wasn’t for the distinctive twang of Stina Tweeddale’s vocals, the Honeyblood heard on ‘Babes Never Die’ could easily be confused for a totally different band to that of 2014’s self-titled debut. Well, it’s half true: ’new’ drummer Cat Myers stepped in just months after its release, and what had been committed to tape as soft, almost dream-like recordings quickly beefed up. The pair’s early live shows together often featured Stina forced to play catch-up on her own songs, such was the unfamiliar ferocity of Cat’s stick-work. The nearly-there bite of debut numbers like ‘All Dragged Up’ and ‘Choker’ became full-on chomps. 

And it’s from there that ‘Babes Never Die’ carries on. There’s an opening hat-trick of smashers, the title track, ‘Ready For The Magic’ and ‘Sea Hearts’ making full use of pop-punk tropes: handclaps, devilishly infectious yell-along choruses, call-and-response guitar lines and a heart-warming gang mentality all collide to brilliant effect. ‘Babes Never Die’ may have begun life as Stina’s chest tattoo, here it’s a call-to-arms for female solidarity. 

The record isn’t without any quiet points, mind - ‘Walking at Midnight’ is dark and swirly, ‘Cruel Kids’ brings the pace down completely, and there’s even still time for a hint of the debut’s wistfulness with ‘Gangs’. But for the most part, Honeyblood’s second outing is a delicious face-punch of a record, running amok in the best way possible with everything they’ve learned since first time around.

‘Ready for the Magic’

Introducing Biig Piig

Introducing Biig Piig

Born in Ireland, raised in Spain and residing in London, Jess Smyth is amalgamating heritage and genres in increasingly singular fashion.