Honeyblood – Electric Circus, Edinburgh, Wed 30 Oct 2013
- Niki Boyle
- 5 November 2013
Confident, American-style garage pop with a Scottish accent
Taking inspiration from the grungy Seattle slacker-pop of the 1990s, there’s something intrinsically American about Honeyblood’s sound. At tonight’s gig – the final date on a short tour to launch their new single, ‘Bud’ – frontwoman Stina’s vocals range from the growling drawls of Brody Dalle and Courtney Love to the deadbeat sneer of L7’s Donita Sparks and, at some poppier moments, the bubblegum sweetness of Shonen Knife’s Naoko Yomano. Given the unpolished, garage-pop stylings of Honeyblood’s output as a whole, the spirit of Kim Deal hovers overall.
The headline song, ‘Bud’, is dispensed with surprisingly early, but the gamble pays off – Stina and drummer Shona seem more relaxed and confident for the rest of the set, with the absence of a bass guitar allowing ‘(I’d Rather Be) Anywhere But Here’ to maintain an almost dreamlike surf-pop vibe. ‘Super Rat’ remains a slacker stand-out (the Dalle/Love-ish drawl making a return for the line ‘Come on, come on down’), while the likes of ‘Killer Bangs’ and ‘Fall Forever’ have the drive and energy of The Colour and the Shape-era Foo Fighters. The whole set manages to be loose without slipping into sloppiness – imagine the louche flap of a plaid shirt tail and you’re pretty much there.