A band called Dark Star Honey Tree releasing something called Cape Meckko could've been anything. They could've been a psychedelic collective that still does tape releases. They could've been an unironic Vampire Weekend cover band. They could've been a bunch of middle-aged transgenders who listen to the Los Angeles Free Music Society tapes at three in the morning. What Dark Star Honey Tree is are two Texan brothers, Vincent and Victor Amour, who write tripped out, stoned up rock songs with lots of guitar.
Lo-fi production means the guitars swirl twice as thickly. The album focuses heavily on channeling early shoe gaze though lyrical repetition and gurney vocal harmonies. Dark Star Honey Tree also get into some punk and progressive moments, changing up tempos while dropping some technically impressive scales.
The narrative behind Cape Meckko is as follows: “a vicious assassin who comes to Cape Meckko, a town plagued by a group of sinister serial killers. What follows is mass pandemonium as the assassin interacts with these killers in the Cape, exterminating them one at a time." It's a pretty cool take on the modern concept album, and songs like "Headless" and "Thanks for the Warhead" are both evocative in their violent imagery.
The album runs into several production problems, but sometimes it contributes to the aesthetic, such as on "Ahold," where the amp noise contributes to the feeling of elation expressed by the vocalist. Other times it detracts; "The Sad Eyes" would be the best pop song of the year if it didn't transition into that disappointing slow-tempo bridge.
There're many experiments going on in this album, from pop experimentations to loud guitar works to a general abandonment of melody in favor of tone. I say keep at it.
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