Of all the major obscure emo/hardcore bands I’ve tried to find in the last couple of years, Honeywell were probably the most difficult. Hell, I even found the Guyver-1 7’’ first, thanks to Zen and the Art of Face Punching, and all I knew about them was that, according to Andy Radin, they were “a little late in the game, but still fantastically good hardcore” (It’s excellent, by the way). Whereas Honeywell were already firmly etched onto my musical consciousness. I just had one song from Honeywell to go on, ‘You and Me/Screaming Numb Ears”. If I was walking past when that song came on my stereo, I had the (almost) uncontrollable urge to spazz out, flail my arms wildly and scream the words “I’m not listening!!! I’m not listening!!! I’m !!! not !!! LISTENING !!!!” at the floor.
I mean, considering how damn good that song is, what more would you want? Well, for a start, the [almost] entire Honeywell discography…
So what is Honeywell? As a hardcore group, they are pretty similar to bands like the Swing Kids and Mohinder. They play fast and abrasive hardcore with impassioned vocals, screamed with throat-shredding ferocity. Yet within this aural blender of distortion, feedback and guttural screeching is an undeniable sense of melody. Personally, I prefer this strand of Gravity/3OneG/San Diego/whatever hardcore to the more atonal Heroin or Angel Hair. And then there’s a further gap between this kind of early screamo and the Orchid/Saetia kind, which is fast in a completely different way.
If I had to compare this to something more modern, I guess I’d have to say Ampere or maybe Wolves. But still, they play with a different kind of acceleration. It may sound odd, but what I thought of was La Quiete, particularly their s/t 7’’. Admittedly, Honeywell are far more abrasive in overall style, but there’s a kind of connecting tangent of percussive rhythm. In La Quiete its done more through the guitars, and in Honeywell more through the voice, and in both through some degree of combination. It all works toward a certain rhythmic intensity, reaching towards sometimes a kind of heart-rending nervous strumming of the soul.
As I say, this is the entire discography. I’m not sure exactly where I found it, but it seems to be floating around places like megaupload and mediafire. The actual record is seemingly afflicted by the Troubleman curse, like the Hated. It’s eternally coming soon.
But here it is, albeit split in half. See, I hate listening to discographies, particularly those of groups originally designed to be heard in short bursts. I did the same to the even shorter Mohinder discography, burning off two separate CDs from the eMusic download. Really, it’s inadvisable to listen to this kind of music for a solid hour, and if you’re determined to do so (say, if you’re feeling super-punk) then get up off your ass halfway through and switch CDs. Of course, if you are super-punk, you’re listening to the vinyl anyway.
So what I did was split it into Pt. 1 (the Industry LP and what I assume is their first 7’’) and Pt. 2 (the Reach Out split tracks and various other stuff from comps etc.). It’s nice kind of A and B side balance. Then I made up some matching cover art using a stylish 1950s Technicolor picture of a Honeywell thermostat (cos, you know, authenticity) and stuck them in with all my other CDs.
If you think that sounds strange, then you haven’t read the name of this blog.
Discography, Pt. 1
Discography, Pt. 2
PS. The picture at the top I found on this Myspace site, 'eletrikkoolaid', along with a lot of other useful and interesting background information on Honeywell and the related band, Volume Eleven.
PPS. Interesting fact: the classical excerpt at the start of 'Mesh Control' on that side is, according to a reliable source, the opening chorus 'O Fortuna' from Carl Orff's Carmina Burana of 1937. According to the classical encyclopaedia,
"the words... are from 13th-century student poems found in the monastery of Benediktbeuren in Bavaria, which are bawdy celebrations of drinking, lovemaking and other earthy delights. Its wide appeal - a message to many contemporary composers - comes from its rhythmic vivacity, its raw, direct energy and its fusion of traditional, jazz and modern compositional techniques."