Honeytrap, Petrushka

Honeytrap

No matter how hard I try, I will forever be at least two-and-a-half-ish weeks behind our inbox. I go through the mail every week, and every week I’m left with a bunch of stuff I want to investigate further. So I download what’s available, put it on my iPod, and let it play for a while to see what I think of it. This system is a little clunky and slow, but it gets the job done. Luckily, this band sent us mail well in advance of their new release so even if did take me almost a whole month, I’m still getting this up with plenty of time to spare. Thanks, Honeytrap!

So on to the good stuff. Honeytrap has, in their own words, “an exciting and unconventional sound which embraces klezmer, folk, alt.rock and the more outré elements of pop”. This is all true, but they haven’t mentioned the best stuff in that perfectly quotable sentence. Sure, they have that whole Eastern European folk thing going on, and they have a lot in common with bands like Beirut, Gogol Bordello, and DeVotchKa. So why do we need another gypsy punk-type band? Because they’re also bizarrely surrealistic and this new album has a song on it called “Roslin Is A Cylon”. How many other klezmer-influenced bands do you know that write songs about Battlestar Galactica? Honestly, this is probably the main reason I downloaded the album in the first place – it definitely caught my attention. I’m pretty sure there’s nothing I expected to hear less on this album than references to sci-fi TV shows. Not that the song really has anything to do with BSG – I don’t have the faintest idea what it’s really about. Listening closely to the lyrics doesn’t get me any nearer to knowing what any of it means – “his teeth were telescopes” – but they sure are interesting as hell.

Honeytrap’s manic surrealism and noughties references create a fascinating contrast between the theatrical old world of their musical style and the new world of their lyrics. Similarly, their underlying pop sensibility makes them feel more modern than some of the other bands I’ve mentioned here and Honeytrap has definitely grabbed me quicker than any of them did at first.

Petrushka is Honeytrap’s second album and will be released on their own label (Crooked Teeth Recording Club) on the 6th of September. Download their first single from the album, “To America”, for free from Bandcamp and pre-order Petrushka while you’re at it.

Honeytrap – Battersea Lovers
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