The Day I Turned to Glass

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Only occasionally do you find a group or album that manages to incorporate diverse influences into a unique sound and still remain absolutely accessible, be it to the casual radio listener or the die-hard record collector. Honeycut is such a group, and their debut, The Day I Turned to Glass, is one such album. Comprised of by-now fixtures in the Bay Area music scene Bart Davenport, Tony Sevener (who, though he uses both live and programmed drums on the record, plays -- as in, taps out each snare hit, each cymbal crash -- the MPC during shows), and Hervé Salters (whose keyboard work is found on many Quannum releases), the band weaves its way through soul, funk, rock, bossa nova, and electronica without ever stopping firmly on one, instead creating something that's very much their own. Salters' key grooves are biting but warm, moving from hard-edged riffs to lush chords, while Davenport's vocals stay clean and smooth the entire time, which isn't to say he's lacking in versatility. He reaches easily into a falsetto in "Silky" and "Tough Kid" but stays lower in songs like the fantastically sinister yet somehow very bright and fun "Shadows" and "The Day I Turned to Glass." It is, in fact, the darker, faster tracks on which Honeycut truly excel, where the talents of the three members come together most effectively and excitingly. Spooky chords and a key vamp haunt the title track as Davenport croons, "So what if you send me a bill/Don't mean I'm gonna pay/You could send me a piano/Don't mean I'm gonna play," with confidence and swagger, both of which continue throughout the entire album. "Baby I'm so glad that your mama gave birth to you," he sings in "Crowded Avenue," doing his best Prince imitation, then switching to purposeful didacticism for the jazzy bittersweet closer, "Fallen to Greed." Salters mixes live horns and strings into his keys, the whole record a fusion of near contrasts, like the name of the band itself, giving Honeycut an almost unclassifiable vibe about them that makes them entertaining and danceable while retaining their musical integrity. The Day I Turned to Glass is the kind of record that's good for almost any situation; it's quick but controlled, welcoming but with a mysterious edge, and, most importantly, always really funky, which makes for something pretty great, and very, very fun.

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