[sic] Magazine

Honeyblood – Honeyblood

Honeyblood is easily the strongest Best Coast album since Crazy For You. Wait, that’s not Bethany Cosentino? Well, it’s nice to know there’s a readymade back-up in singer/guitarist Stina Tweeddale if she ever does go missing all the same. Tweeddale and drummer Shona McVicar hail from the West Coast of Glasgow and the pair, as will now be obvious, make bittersweet pop with breezy melodies and hooks aplenty (the woozy lament “(I’d Rather Be) Anywhere But Here” is straight-up Cosentino fan-fic, for example).

While their output may therefore be far from original it’s great fun nonetheless, the album front-loaded with pure gold that show just how far the girls have come since their ramshackle, C86-influenced debut single “Bud” (here included). Wistful rocker “Fall Forever” grits its teeth for an indie/garage/pop best-of. The swirling second single, “Killer Bangs”, revels in its cardboard production and, while it’s message is puddle-deep, its bubblegum indie-punk has “student dancefloor favourite” written all over it. Best of all, the rousing, part-acoustic angst anthem “Super Rat” steps on the pedals for some Japandroids-style fuzz-jangle, a tirade of insults and a standout shout-along chorus.

Side two isn’t as strong, but it’s still worth giving the benefit of the doubt to. Tweeddale’s commanding vocal performance and crunching guitar give “Choker”, for example, a retro vibe in the vein of Sons And Daughters and The Duke Spirit. And it’s not the only time her Scottish brogue belies her California dreamin’, overseeing a couple of dodgy lyrics here and there but also a few belters such as: “You’re know you’re destined to lose when a fortune cookie dictates your next move.” The album ends with “Braidburn Valley”, a lovely balance of sweet vocals and dirty fuzz that states in no uncertain terms how these are lasses that simply won’t put up with shit. And that’s girl power you can believe in.

Best tracks: “Super Rat” and “Killer Bangs”

~Honeyblood is released July 14th 2014 on FatCat~