Gig review: Honeyblood at The Wardrobe, Leeds

Honeyblood
Honeyblood
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Honeyblood want to introduce a special guest.

The Scottish garage-rock duo were told by industry figures that they should work with a bassist on their new material. And so, continues drummer Cat Myers, they’d like the audience to meet Sebastian.

This all sounds perfectly reasonable. Except it turns out that this is a black box that produces all of the bass and electronic sounds on tracks including the sinister Sister Wolf, on which guitarist Stina Tweeddale’s snarling vocals are backed by her band mate’s.

It’s this two fingers up at The Man that informs the feisty Babes Don’t Die, which is the title of their second album as well as being their philosophy about female empowerment. In real term this simply translates as a set of energetic and immediate alt-rock.

Dripping with melodic hooks and sing-a-long choruses, the likes of current single Sea Hearts and Gangs are an irresistible marriage between The Breeders and Veruca Salt.

The addition of the war-painted Myers, who replaced original drummer Shona McVicar soon after the release of their eponymous debut album, has bolstered their sound on such tracks and made them a powerhouse where initially the band were gauzy indie.

In fact, some of the tracks drawn from their debut are the set’s low points, especially encore Super Rat. Undeniably fun with its teen angst refrain of “I will hate you forever,” it nonetheless treads dangerously close to Avril Lavigne’s skater-pop.

Yet it’s ultimately such songs about hate and relationships that have connected so strongly with the audience and ensures that the career of these particular babes won’t die just yet.