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HONEYCRACK - London Camden Underworld
4 July 1995

Review by Dave from SFK ezine.

Will HONEYCRACK ever loose the tag of 'CJ from The Wildhearts new band'. The band has been going a year now and if tonight was anything to go by have a long and illustrious career ahead of them. The band consists of five members, all of whom sing and four of whom play guitars! All this adds up to a very chunky yet melodious sound. "The Beach Boys meets Black Sabbath" as they quaintly put it. They put on a stormin' 45 minute set that really got the crowd going. One to watch out for.

Review by Cathi Unsworth from Melody Maker. Note: I'm sure she means well, but you would think that someone paid to be a journalist would have got some facts right.

CJ wears his bass slung low like Paul Simenon used to and his hair looks like James Fox's after the red paint job in "Performance" - he's the handsomest bastard you have seen for a long time in a British "pop" band. Honeycrack, the band he formed after leaving The Wildhearts, have two guitars, two basses and two vocalists (CJ and Willie) who can make live harmonies that it would take most reedy-voiced indie whingers a 22-track studio to produce. The have the big-hearted romance and fire of the Clash coupled with the freaked-out, sublime pop of Brian Wilson, and if this sounds like an extremely unlikely and over the top assessment, then you'll just have to check them out for yourselves. Basically, Honeycrack are a brazenly astounding and brilliant young British band who've arrived like the Seventh Cavalry in an hour of dire spiritual need. They have been together three months. Menswear - see them and weep.

The four men at the front range from the flying dreadlocks of ex-Rub Ultra bassist Mark to the shaven-headed cool of guitarist Pete. Steve, lost at the back, swings the drums from a rockabilly rumble to a mellow dub groove with seemingly little effort, while CJ and Willie let their tonsils take flight. One moment you're swooning, the next the guitars are buzzing in all-out attack. Honeycrack are rewriting the book on infectious melodies, searing right hooks and heartbruising harmonies to their own specifications and they're not going to stand still for a second.

Perhaps even more amazing than being able to sound like the single-handed renaissance of pop culture, is the fact that they can also make political commentary without a) sloganeering with the dexterity and insight of playground yobs (cf Carter) or b) stating the bloody obvious with overbearing pomposity (cf Rage Against your Mother). Instead, they bring on board an entirely new proposition (for guitar music, that is - rappers have had it sussed for years) - they make it entertaining.

Tracks like "King Of Misery" and "5 Minutes" rock your world, get your pelvis gyrating and tweak your braincells all at the same time! I have only one thing to say: Front Cover, now!

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