Really a big EP rather than a small album, Canada’s Honeymoon Suite have come up with a disc shot through with pure class, no matter what size it actually is.
Seven new originals and two live tracks (a guitar heavy Burning in Love and New Girl Now, both from the band’s 1984 self-titled debut) are what you get for your money, and every last second of the music that you’ll hear just oozes with craft, workmanship and top-drawer ability. It’s thirty one years to the day (almost) since I saw Honeymoon Suite supporting Saga at London’s Hammersmith Odeon and they draw on every last ounce of that longevity and experience to produce this stunning piece of aural pleasure.
Given such gushing praise already extended it seems superfluous to pick out highlights, but by God I’m going to…
… Actually no, what would be the point? If you’ve ever heard HMS you’ll know what you’re in for; Johnny Dee’s smooth, yet surprisingly soulful vocals, backed by the at times incendiary playing of Derry Grahan (who really does pull out some nice solos on this record) are at the heart of all that’s good, for sure, but every one in the band contributes to the greater good. If you’re new to the band, imagine a mouthwatering mix of Del Amitri, Richard Marx and Bourgois Tagg, the band as a whole creating classy, superior AOR in a gratifyingly timeless fashion that suggests not a lot has changed in the world since ooh, 1987.
That’s a compliment, of course, but the ultimate compliment to this most enduring of rock institutions would be for you all to go out and buy the album, in the hope they might come down for a few shows in Australia!
Hands Up will be released on March 10th. Go to the band’s website (www.honeymoonsuiteband.com) for more details.