Personal anecdote that almost no one will find appealing: I used to work alongside Thom Moore from Wild Honey. And by work, I mean, I did about 3-4 days of work experience at Mojo’s, the record store/bar in Wynyard. After two weeks, my Mum told me that I had to stop going to Mojo’s because I needed to concentrate on my HSC. Even though that was a bit of a lost cause (the mystery mark speaks for itself), I had fun flipping through records in a basement. A huge shipment of LP’s had come in at that time, and Thom specifically asked that if any surf records came through, I should throw them his way. After finally getting to hear Wild Honey, the craving for these surf records all makes perfect sense now. I mean, there’s a goddamn beach on the front cover, in case you’re bad at picking up subtle hints.
This EP is a strong fever dream of adoration for late 60’s rock and pop, particularly Love and The Velvet Underground. The hallmarks are there, from harmonica solos, to languid guitars, and lyrics that reach to the sort of eternal summer that only exists in the universe of Grease Lightning. Wild Honey work well with a pop-rock that isn’t just summery, but puts the writers behind the Coke jingles to shame. A song like “This Time” works as a cool down just as well as wiping a VB on your forehead, and “Coming Home” sounds less like a desire to go to one place than to be entirely transported to 60’s era California. “Eye to Eye” stands out particularly, as just being an on-point pop song. It’s well-written, catchier than one of Ben Lee’s diseases, and its got a ripper video about aliens and murder, so everyone’s a winner, right?
Although only four tracks long, this EP shows a lot of promise for Wild Honey. The songs are unforced and come quite easily, something a lot of bands who try and re-create songs removed multiple times from their generation can struggle with. Owning a collection of surf records that could kill someone when toppled over surely doesn’t hurt. For a day like today, in which a step outside turns your face into the Red Skull, maybe sit indoors and enjoy Wild Honey’s debut.
Wild Honey play tonight at The Union Hotel, a free show with Bearhug and Shining Bird.