Black Crows is a good opener with a good beat and some clever hooks. It gets the listener in the right mood and has a certain catchiness that carries on throughout the song. Suzanne’s vocals are as strong and well-timed as ever and the drums have an interesting interaction with the subtly composed keys that works out really well for this song.
Little Toy Gun
In the EP review I said that Little Toy Gun was something that you only want more of. And I still get that same feeling. The song gets catchier every single time I hear it and it draws you in until it completely convinces you. The uptempo, multi-influenced alternative rock song with some killer hooks grabs you by the throat and never really lets go.
Sugarcane was a new song for me. It reminds me of Dutch band Krezip somewhat sometimes. It has a more gentle rhythm and flows forth with almost jazzy influences. The keys have a subtle yet very soulful role in this nice tuned-down intermezzo.
Not For Long
I can’t really say that Not For Long is one of my favorites, but it has the ability to get stuck in my head without me even realizing it’s doing that. When I just listened to it, it kinda fades but then later when I don’t expect it, it resurfaces in my head. So it might be a good radio single.
This song grew on me on the “Loose Boots” EP. I still think it’s a high class song that deserves a lot of credit. Especially the vocals are super strong, but the whole arrangement of the song is well-balanced and well thought out.
Come On Home
Come On Home is one of my favorites. It’s not an obvious choice, but I do think it would be a good choice for a radio single. In a way it reminds me of label buddies Rocco DeLuca & The Burden in the timeless character of the song and the soulful rock & roll feel the song has. The timing is pretty important in this song and the band nails it. One of HoneyHoney’s strongest songs.
Give Yourself To Me
The uptempo, catchy Give Yourself To Me makes for an excellent live song and has a very infectious chorus that is powerfully and passionately performed by the band. This would also be a good commercial single.
David was one of my favorites on the EP and it is also one of my favorites on “First Rodeo”. The piano balladry shows how gently this band can perform a song that isn’t necessarily gentle of nature. There’s a nice contrast in the song that the band perfectly plays out.
With it’s country/americana influences, Slow Brains, has quite a different nature than most of HoneyHoney’s songs, but the band eases it all into an alternative rock & roll song that gets very pleasant and remarkably catchy. Slow Brains develops to one of my favorites on “First Rodeo”.
Under The Willow Tree
Took me some time to get used to this song, and I still don’t think HoneyHoney came to full potential in this song, but I encourage their variety and creativity. The song’s not bad, but it kinda seems that HoneyHoney wasn’t completely able to really personify with the song.
Album closer Oh Mama is a typical album closer, with it’s free, jazzy feel and the soulful piano with the deeply passionate vocals and very spheric arrangement. It’s a very fitting end to this strong album.
HoneyHoney impressed me deeply with their debut EP “Loose Boots” and they continue to do so with their first full-length, “First Rodeo”. Strong songwriting and creative musicality combined with the extraordinary dynamics between Ben & Suzanne and Suzanne’s signature vocals are all key ingredients for this solid debut album. “First Rodeo” will hopefully be followed by many more rodeos.