On the spreadsheet of delights that is the TINAS for review list, my editor put “Could they be the new Kverlertak?…” next to this sophomore album from Norwegian upstarts Honningbarna (Honey Children). A move I’m almost sure was designed to pique my interest, and naturally I fell for it. So here we are, me hyped and ready for some crazy crossover thrills from some more
“3,2,1, fight!…” starts ‘Dodtid’. Fight what? I do not know, as like Kvelertak they sing in their native tongue. There’s no bewildering genre mash-ups a la Kverlertak, but they share their exhilarating verve and passion. The songs here are full of Refused-esque gang chant backing vocals, breakdowns with just percussion and vocals and a dry, taut Fugazi apeing production. The sophisticated yet incendiary sound of Refused is the main reference throughout, and while this is music to go fucking apeshit to, whether they are calling for revolution is hard to know, but who cares when the music is this exciting!
There is evidence of a more commercial, fun loving side to Honningbarna, such as the children singing backing vocals in ‘Fuck Kunst (Dans Dans)’ and song titles ‘God Jul, Jesus’ – ‘Merry Christmas, Jesus’ and title track “Verden Er Enkel” – ‘Life Is Easy’. ‘Tynn Is’ even kicks off like a souped-up Van Halen, and is actually (gasp!) danceable – not something you could ever accuse Refused of! ‘Ikke La Deg Rive Med’ is made additionally entertaining by a vocal line where the band seemingly chant the name Nikki Lauda repeatedly. Why this is so appealing I’m unsure?!! Probably because it’s a chance to sing along, even if you have the lyrics wrong.
While it somewhat lacks the ambition of “Meir” it makes up for it in sheer brio and an abundance of tunes. “Verden Er Enkel” alone feels like three great songs in one, full of riffs and catchy shout along bits and ending with some unexpected mournful cello, all in under three minutes! In fact the more you listen to this album, the more subtle and clever little moments appear amongst these short little bursts of punkish energy.
So what were the band getting ready to fight? My guess is they were getting ready to fight for your right to PAAAARRTY!
This is an awesome album. Buy it!