Sequels are a tough thing to nail down, tough to get right. I mean, how many times has the follow-up been better than, or just, just as good as, the original? Godfather II? Terminator 2? Rush Hour 2? That’s, like, it. NYC “wah punks” Honey etch their name in the tree of successful seconds with their sophomore LP, New Moody Judy, out September 29 on Wharf Cat Records. The fiery gravy train hasn’t lost any speed, but rather, it’s picked up a breakneck momentum, their tone only growing in intensity as they push ahead. The entire record exhibits a fresh energy, from the first and recurring riff of opener “Wage Agreement,” quavering like a stomach beside itself, to the anthemic chords of closer “Peggy Ray,” the percussion alone enough to knock you to your knees. The whole thing’s done with just a touch more “UMPH.” New Moody Judy (also, notably, the title track) displays fuller sense of self and chemistry and maturity that other bands only dream of on a second effort.
Will Schmeichem’s drums are struck as though to put holes in not only the skins themselves, but also the floor and the foundation on which the recording studio was constructed; and Cory Feierman’s bass snarls and grumbles like a grizzly bear in heat, never letting up, and you’re THIS close to being torn to ribbons the entire time; and Dan Wise’s brain-sizzling guitar oversees the whole groundwork already set ablaze by the rhythm section, its piercing gaze is enough to eviscerate whole bodies like the death rays of science fiction. It’s nuts. Every note screams, “No we’re not slowing down,” with a vigor, a vehemence and. The band that grows together stays together. And yo who cares if that doesn’t rhyme?
Honey plays Alphaville on October 13 for their record release.
Check out a few tracks, and a Q + A with Cory, below:
The sound on New Moody Judy is a bit more austere, maybe a bit heavier, maybe a bit darker. Would you agree? How would you say you’ve grown since Love is Hard?
I’d say this one came about in more of an energetic burst than love is hard – was written together a bit more cohesively, concisely. It’s darker and meaner, though not necessarily uglier. As a band, as musicians, we’re more comfortable with each other and keep things looser now, especially live. I think Love is Hard ended up being a break up record – mostly written throughout the end of the (romantic/outside the band) relationships we were in. This is a document of the time since then – at least for me some of it is looking on at myself stumbling up the stairs at the break of dawn and shaking my head at myself.
You’ve spoken before about working at Academy Records. Do you think having that much at your fingertips comes into play in songwriting?
It’s a weird thing – I am always absorbing new music and I hear something new almost every day that moves me, but I don’t think I am directly inspired by what I listen to most when it comes to these songs. Like I don’t think you can hear any Allan Toussaint or Archie Shepp in New Moody Judy, but thats who I’ve been blasting at the store.
What are some of the things you’re most excited about in the NYC music scene these days? What are some of the thing you’re most bummed about? Is there a difference?
I’ve always felt like certain scenes in NYC have always been very insular and lacking of variety – That is definitely changing and it’s great. I don’t want to go to a show that is just 4 Fahey worshipping guitar dudes, or 6 d-beat bands in a row. Line’s are getting blurred and its great – especially for a band like us that doesn’t rest comfortably in one scene.
I’m bummed at the astronomical rise of condo fucks taking every square inch of the city and it’s negative impact on smaller venues/DIY spaces. Small venues barely make any money, DIY spaces don’t make any at all. It’s impossible to compete.
What are your favorite places to play around here? Favorite cities to play around everywhere?
Dan and Will both work at Union Pool and I love it. It kind of can’t be beat, it sounds great in there, everyone’s easy to deal with. I think the vibes in the bar on a Friday or Saturday night can be a bit much for some, but the venue is really the best.
How much outside of the NY bubble would you say influences you as a band? Where are y’all from? Either physically or, like, emotionally or mentally or artistically?
I grew up in Bensonhurst, then in Lindenwood, 2 far corners of the outer boroughs, So for me there are no influences outside of the “NYC experience” or whatever. I love it here, I’m from here, I’m not leaving. Dan and Will are both from Wisconsin but met here.
A fun one-what are your favorite ramen spots?
For a fancier time, Yuji Ramen on Ainslie is unfuckwithable – maybe some of the best food I’ve ever eaten.. For more laid back, immediate hangover cure I say Minca on Ave B.