Clash (magazine) - "Opening in a blizzard of punk energy and white hot distortion, `Babes Never Die' actually thrives on subtlety, on being able to switch between gears, to flit between different levels."
Personnel: Stina Tweeddale (vocals, guitar, piano, bass guitar); Cat Myers (synthesizer, bass guitar, drums); James Dring (synthesizer, programming); Matt Jones (synthesizer).
Audio Mixer: James Dring.
Recording information: Fish Factory Studios; Gasworks Studios.
Illustrator: Chrysa Koukoura.
Photographer: Amira Fritz.
Between their self-titled debut and Babes Never Die, Honeyblood went through some big changes. Most notably, founding drummer Shona McVicar left shortly after Honeyblood's release, with Cat Myers replacing her on the throne. For her first album with the band, she and Stina Tweeddale recruited producer James Dring, who also worked with Gorillaz, Jamie T., and Lana Del Rey -- artists who aren't exactly similar to the fizzy yet wistful sound Honeyblood crafted on their debut. Indeed, Babes Never Die finds Tweeddale and Myers doubling down on spiky, '90s-tinged rockers like "Killer Bangs" and "Choker" and leaving their graceful indie pop by the wayside, revealing a much louder and bolder band. The loping rhythm of "Justine, Misery Queen" is a great showcase for Myers, while the synths on "Love Is a Disease" reflect how much the duo challenged expectations this time around. The album's first three songs are some of the finest examples of Honeyblood 2.0: "Ready for the Magic" is razor-edged pop, full of hand-clapping verses and stinging riffs; "Sea Hearts" is as packed with heavy guitars and trippy twists and turns as University-era Throwing Muses, and the title track evokes the joyously grungy defiance of Bettie Serveert. Meanwhile, the dreamy choruses on "Hey, Stellar" and "Cruel"'s sugar-coated manipulation underscore how good Tweeddale is at writing and singing confessional songs. ~ Heather Phares