Honeyblood – Babes Never Die
Glasgow’s Honeyblood, aka Stina Tweeddale and Cat Myers, are back with sophomore album Babes Never Die, a follow-up to 2014’s self-titled debut. Boasting 12 tracks, with the first and last acting as musical bookends, it's a well wrapped package with no obvious signs of ‘difficult second album syndrome’.
After the crescendoing mantra of 'babes never die, babes never die' on Intro, we're thrown head first into the heavily percussive title track, complete with a supremely catchy chorus. Following this is the album's first single Ready For the Magic, a powerful track with bags of sing-along potential, then we're straight into Sea Hearts, which sucks you in with its Britpop-esque intro. The drums kick in, and before you know it, they’re sipping tequila and not giving a fuck who knows it – as you quickly learn, the reason for all this is 'just a little heartbreak'. Honeyblood promise to 'break hearts that get in our way.' You believe them.
Love is a Disease and Walking at Midnight offer a brief breather, following that high-energy triumvirate, before the muscular Justine, Misery Queen grabs hold of you again. The album loses momentum a little towards the end, but the bittersweet Cruel – Babes Never Die’s sole ballad – regains your trust and interest; there’s a vulnerability in Tweeddale’s vocal that makes you hang on her every word.
Finally, there's Outro, a cheeky little samba number reminiscent of a Casio keyboard demo. It's embellished with an adorable melody played on a recorder, with Tweeddale’s distant 'ba da ba daaah's layered on top: dreamy.
Overall, and despite a brief lull, Babes Never Die is enjoyable from beginning to end. Peppered with catchy choruses and heroic riffs, and with sing-along moments galore, it's much fuller, better rounded and more complete than 2014's Honeyblood. The best thing? When it finishes you'll head straight back to the start to relive it all over again.
Listen to: Sea Hearts, Love is a Disease, Cruel