Sunday, 3 January 2016

THE HONEY POT – INSIDE THE WHALE (Mega Dodo LP, 3 x CD, D/L). THE HONEY POT – LISA DREAMS (Mega Dodo 7” Single, D/L).

For their first album release of 2016 the wunnerful folks at Mega Dodo have picked a blinder of a record from The Honey Pot, the Devon based melting pot of very English sweet, surreal and strange psychedelic sounds and groovy 60s tripped out San Francisco Acid Rock. Featuring members of the extended Mega Dodo family Crystal Jacqueline and Icarus Peel, the Honey Pot play a blend of Sixties psych that has its boots in the past but its head in the future, looking back to go forward…….drawing not only on the unique English inheritance of surreal, warped Psychedelia and strange, twisted Acid Folk but also frazzled SF style sprawling sonic adventures, The Honey Pot are from where the West Coast meets the West Country and someone has spiked their cream tea.

Inside The Whale shows that The Honey Pot have significantly progressed since the release of their 2013 debut album. Where To The Edge Of The World was very “English” sounding, name-checking a rich history full of the likes of The Hollies, The Kinks, Donovan amongst others, the new record has an harder San Francisco circa 1967 vibe while still retaining that core of quintessential, whimsical Englishness. The albums opener ‘The Outskirts Of Your Mind’ has the spiraling Folk Rock feel of very early Fairport Convention, if they had dabbled in anything more mind expanding than Real Ale, with Male/Female voices blending beautifully. The track is a good example of where The Honey Pot are now at and you can imagine that this folky, Acid Rock sound could have been the direction that the Fairport’s could have taken if they had not been given the address of Cecil Sharp House. The more surreal, high in Notting Hill Gate, 60s/70s counterculture vibe can be heard on ‘Psychedelic Circles’, a trippy Donovanesque “acid hymn” that in a very strange parallel universe has been a massive worldwide hit and kept ‘Please Release Me’ off the top of the charts in April 1967. Part of The Honey Pot’s evolving sound is that they are prepared to improvise more and see where it takes them…………the album’s title track is a blissed out eight minutes of beautiful, gentle psychedelia which ebbs and flows around Crystal Jacqueline’s wonderful voice. There is a more expansive use of keyboards on this record which gives the songs more depth and colour………….this works really well on tunes like ‘Walking On Eggshells’, which has a baroque feel somewhere between H.P. Lovecraft and Jacco Gardner, and where acidic guitar lines, rolling bass and Doorsy organ combine to propel the Psychedelic Blues monster ‘Pink and Orange’ screaming straight outta the Matrix Club sometime in 67. Although Inside The Whale has been inspired by great 60s West Coast bands such as Jefferson Airplane, The Peanut Butter Conspiracy, The Doors, It’s A Beautiful Day, The Sopwith Camel, Spirit and Love along with psychedelicized Brits like Donovan, Kevin Ayers, Kaleidoscope, Traffic and other bands that found heaven in their minds, it is not a "paint by numbers" recreation of the past. The final two tracks ‘Butterfly Ride’ and ‘A Curates Egg’ are both excellent pieces of modern swirling psychedelia that although evokes a sense of bygone days are, like the rest of the album, looking into the eternal now where anything is possible and the future is unwritten. The Honey Pot are taking the “Sound Of The Sixties”, retooling it so that is relevant today and in the process have made a really great psychedelic record that has now set the bar pretty high for the rest of the year.

Also worth checking out is The Honey Pot’s contribution to the Mega Dodo Singles Club……..for the first release a couple of fantastic tracks left over from the Inside The Whale sessions (‘Lisa Dreams’ and ‘Into The Deep’) have been selected. ‘Lisa Dreams’ is perfect Californian Sunshine Pop, an imaginary soundtrack to a groovy beach party.....a beach blanket bongout that the Shaggs are playing at. As an antidote to the dark, damp British winter months we can’t think of anything better. The flip side is a slow burning, darker, more menacing acid fried Psych number underpinned by rumbling bass and groovy drums. Imagine the Doors at their lysergic, swampiest, slinkiest best…….it’s a total trip. Released on 22/01/16 ‘Lisa Dreams’ is available as a 7” single with limited edition run of 250 copies with a digital download also available and can be pre-ordered from the Mega Dodo Bandcamp page at https://megadodo.bandcamp.com/album/lisa-dreams where you can find info about the Mega Dodo Singles Club as well.
Inside The Whale is released on 26/02/16 in a myriad of limited edition combinations which are available for pre-order from the Mega Dodo Bandcamp page, their online store and if you must you can pre-order from Amazon (although it won’t be shipped till 04/03/16). First off you have yer basic vinyl and CD copies…….the vinyl edition of the record limited to 300 copies in total is available to pre order from all three outlets with the CD, which includes 2 bonus tracks (‘Poppy Surfing’ and ‘Three Sisters’), only available from Amazon at the moment. There is a beautifully packaged limited edition 3 x CD set available which includes Inside The Whale, the tracks from the ‘Lisa Dreams’ single plus ‘Poppy Surfing’ and ‘Three Sisters’ and a recording of the storming set The Honey Pot played at the Games For May all-dayer at the Half Moon, Putney. Packaged in a special numbered tin and limited to 150 copies, this is available from the web store and Bandcamp. You can pick up these goodies along with the Singles Club package in a mix of assorted bundles………..check the Mega Dodo store for details…………………..oh by the way, if you want the digital download only so you can play it through your phone at the back of the magic bus then it’s Bandcamp or Amazon you need.


THEE PSYCHEDELICATESSEN          

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