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Review of Honeycrack, supporting Weezer, at London Camden Underworld on Sunday 26 February 1995. Written by Dave Ling, photo by PG Brunelli, taken from RAW No. 171 (15-28 March 1995).
Of course, everybody's biggest fears about openers Honey Crack (sic) were that the five-piece would transpire to be nothing more than a baby Wildhearts or, worse, an opportunist's stab at cashing in on a scene they really are no part of. Natural ly, there's no doubting the Alternative Metal credentials of ousted Wildhearts guitarist CJ, but former poodle Rocker Willie Dowling, and that just-cropped barnet?!... Hmmm.
However, the pair have rapidly assembled an excellent band, a killer set of tunes and perfected a very 'now' sound. Their three-guitar frontline (completed by ex-Rub Ultra man Mark) could have resulted in overkill, but the songs are so cleverly arranged that one axeman - invariably Dowling - often holds back, only adding extra thrust when the mood demands.
And there are moods aplenty, with enormous, Beatles-esque slabs of melody, seriously heavy riffing and marvelous harmonies - even a Reggae-like chorus to 'Good Feeling'. Willie and CJ trade vocals effectively, with Dowling easily handling most of the singing himself.
'King Of Misery', 'Samantha Pope' and 'No Please Don't' are songs to kill for but, incredibly, the set gets better as it proceeds. 'Animals' is arguably the most successful ever grafting of Beatles melody onto sheer metal riffing power. Wildhearts mainman ginger, who was present and later spotted making his peace with CJ, would definitely approve. And then HoneyCrack (sic) followed it ith an even better tune, 'I Hate Myself And Everybody Else'.
The tragically overlooked hallmark of quality and substance that has been present in the bulk of dowling's past work is apparent in Honey Crack (sic). This time he must recieve the success that he has long been owed.
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