by Morgan Greenwood (@totemmotet)
Des Moines/Ames, Iowa band Honeygold crash right through their debut full-length I’ll Love U Just The Same (released March 8th on Infinite Weed Records). While their previous release—a very rare cassette EP aptly called 4 Songs—was acoustic bedroom lo-fi in the vein of early Radical Face, this record takes the sensibilities and sense of intimacy and applies them to the full-band format in a very mature way.
But don’t let this fool you. On the first single, “Flood,” the band goes right into noise rock territory. Ian Francis’s vocals remain thoughtful and introverted as they had been on the EP but now—surrounded by the cascading sounds of his guitar, Leon Owusu’s bass and Lincoln Baxter’s drums—they create a wonderful calm counterpoint within the storm. And if there was anything to tell it, the final moments of this track really show a group in full command of pacing and structure.
The opening track, “Ruby” gets into nothing as raucous as the single. Rather, it builds monolithically upon a single idea, pausing only occasionally for a slight breath. “Lesson” seems like it might explode into the kind of ferocity shown on “Flood” but just when you think that might happen the expectation is averted (and fulfilled, strangely) by an eccentric guitar lead, one of the few explicit ones on the record.
Album standout might go to “Guilt.” It is patient and builds over the course of its minutes, like “Ruby,” but it is much more gnarled and thorny than anything else on the record. This song takes on a quality almost frightening with its scope, like looking through a telescope into the inky depths of space. But this song’s conclusion is the most interesting part, because it neither resigns itself to pessimism, nor makes an ill-suited move for optimism, but rather is left ambiguous and unresolved. Again, it is clear Honeygold knows not only how to put together a song but also—if this debut LP is any indication—how to put together a record.
Check out the video for the single “Flood” and the full-album stream here on Post-Trash.
Honeygold’s I’ll Love U Just The Same is out March 8th via Infinite Weed Records.