SINGLE RELEASE: Honeyblood – ‘The Third Degree’
WORDS BY CRAIG HOPKINSON
Honeyblood is back once again with The Third Degree, the blues-heavy, punk-inspired, grunge rock single taken from upcoming album; In Plain Sight, due to release 24th May this year.
The Glaswegian singer and songwriter, Stina Tweeddale, formed Honeyblood in 2012 as a duo along with guitarist Shona McVicar, whom left and was later replaced by Cat Myers. After signing an exclusive recording contract with Marathon Artists, a London-based independent record label, in 2019, the band announced that they would release their third studio album. The Third Degree is the first single release from the same album; a bluesy, post-punk piece somehow incorporating a 1960s wall of sound.
Deep and heavy, live kick drums introduce the song to the listener as if The Third Degree, was somehow produced by Jimmy Bowen of Phil Spector for a band like The Blossoms or The Ronettes in the early ‘60s. The whole song has such an analogue feel to it, as though nothing digital was used to engineer it. It sounds like the whole thing was recorded on an old reel-to-reel Akai recorder and sent through some archaic multitrack mixer from Chuck Berry’s basement. Conversely, the lyricism and tone of the vocals throughout the song are quite evidently influenced by the punk era. There’s a level of angst in the singer’s voice that neatly contrasts with this ‘60s production and arrangement giving the whole song the post-punk element that Honeyblood has crafted over the years.
The mastering and sound maximisation for this track is awesome. The whole thing pops out of the speakers while leaving room for every sound made available without upsetting or taking away from any other layer. Each instrument resides within its own shelf or frequency perfectly, something I rarely hear from even the most commercially produced musicians. The Third Degree, is such a great track. Showcasing some fantastic production work and instrumentation, great use of the traditional rock and roll sounds and then it is very cleverly topped off with a touch of punk. Lovely.