Now a solo vehicle for Stina Tweeddale, Honeyblood return after a couple of superbly-received records as part of a duo with another release steeped in darkness. Living up to the success of the preceding ‘Babes Never Die’ may not have caused her any sleepless nights, but she found herself haunted in more literal ways as repeated visits from a malevolent spirit with seemingly murderous intentions at the tour's end. What follows may not be a record about ghosts and ghouls, but it still unsurprisingly carries evidence from those visitations in its veins.
One thing that hasn’t reduced with the line-up change is the ambition. Previously consistent in its noisy indie rock, ‘In Plain Sight’ finds Honeyblood shifting through the genres like an apparition moving through walls. Album highlight ‘The Third Degree’ takes the sound of classic sixties girl groups, even down to a classic Phil Spector beat, and runs it through a fuzzy filter. ‘A Kiss From The Devil’ meanwhile, bathes in the same deliciously seductive nectar as near-namesake Black Honey (those bees must have something in their water these days). Similarly, ‘Tarantella’ effortlessly slips into the world of a Tarantino soundtrack, another dangerous tale from a world full of deadly nightshade.
While the quick feet in the first half makes for a breathless listen, it doesn’t quite keep the momentum going. Never anything less than catchy, some of the inventiveness slowly fades away with the banger-to-mash ratio in particular suffering during the final third. Still, these are new realms that Honeyblood are exploring and there is enough here to keep most up at night for a while still.