ARTIST: HONEST EYES
TITLE: BRIDGES BURNED LESSONS LEARNED
WORDS: JO COSGROVE
Coming up from their northern base in Manchester, pop-punk group Honest Eyes are still brand new yet making their mark in the industry. An undeniably talented trio, the self-proclaimed “northwest pop-punk” band are ready to take on the rest of the United Kingdom and begin a takeover of the music scene with their upcoming EP, ‘Bridges Burned, Lessons Learned’.
Previously describing their musical creations as “relatively awful songs about relatively awful situations”, the last word you’d pick to describe the tracks on this EP would be “awful”. For a new group still finding their feet in the industry, they’re much further ahead in their journey than many might hope to be around a debut release. There’s already a sense that they’ve found what they’re comfortable with, and this is evident from the opening track, ‘Afternoon Tea With Bridget’.
“For a new group still finding their feet in the industry, they’re much further ahead in their journey than many might hope to be around a debut release. “
There’s a hint of nostalgia in the sound and style of this track, showing the band were confident enough to use the influence of classic pop-punk styles in their own unique way. Listen out for the contrast of in styles of the lead vocals mismatched over the top of the fast-paced and upbeat music, a quirk which might put off an average listener but in their case, lends the track a uniqueness that makes it stand out.
Recording an album or EP is a process that takes great amounts of time over the course of weeks or months, so of course sometimes there’s going to be development in the tracks that listeners can hear or even sense in the music throughout the duration of a record. It’s here on the Honest Eyes EP, with an initially anti-climactic tone, which builds and develops. It’s worth hanging on to see the record through. There grows an urge, and listening on is the only way to relieve the urge to get an answer: is this a band worth investing time into?
The following track, ‘Senseless’, is a song the band themselves have been giving publicity to as of recent. In terms of vocals, lead and backing – collaborative work between guitarist Leo Craig and bassist Richard Kinrade – are both a high point in this track; they have their own harmony that really works here and this song is already a developmental step forward from the opening track.
‘Senseless’, however, does follow a pattern of ending in a more sudden sense than what one would believe be appropriate for such a track. For songs in the pop-punk genre, there’s a bit of an expectation for a memorable outro or even a tasteful fade-out effect – yet thus far, Honest Eyes are creating music cliff-hangers. They’re certainly keen on keeping their listeners hooked, and that’s always great to keep people wanting more with music.
“Already showing an ability to evolve and improve in their music, Honest Eyes have a long journey to go, but it will be a fun one.”
‘Wendy, Darling. Whatever.’ begins with giving attention to the percussion, courtesy of drummer Joe Bilsbrough, who deserves this chance to shine as most drummers in bands should. This is one of the more emotional tracks on the EP, containing a strong sense of anger. Hatred and heartbreak are the themes and it turns up the power contained within.
The expectations are truly heightened by the time the last track, ‘Piccadilly’ begins, and it seems that hopes are coming true for Honest Eyes. The standout moment is the instrumental breakdown leading up to the bridge; beginning with a short drum solo which is soon accompanied by a fitting bass and then completed with the strums of the guitar. This is a representation of the flow between the three members; they work their best and strongest together and have found where they stand in their genre.
Ending with a strong mood consisting of anger and angst, it seems the Manchester group have demonstrated their way of growing and adjusting and gaining confidence in the music they are creating and putting out into the world. Already showing an ability to evolve and improve in their music, Honest Eyes have a long journey to go, but it will be a fun one.