Honeyhander - Woolly Mannerisms (Cover Artwork)


Woolly Mannerisms (2006)

Strictly Amateur Films

The opening moments of Woolly Mannerisms sound promising -- a bizarre mix of funky new wave and digital noises leave you awash in a strange computerized dance party where if everyone isn't on acid, they should be. Then just as you are starting to sink into the opening groove of "Wear Out Your Muscles Mary," a massively over-distorted guitar and fuzzed out vocals kick in and roughly yank you back out. The two sounds are abrasive, and distracting, a combination that does not result in an enjoyable listening experience. Unfortunately, the rest of the EP doesn't do much to salvage the damage done by the opener.

On "Professional Poise," it sounds like Honeyhander stole the vocals from a Marilyn Manson song and then added them to a poorly mixed track by the Faint. Once again, an otherwise funky beat is tarnished by the coarse combination of horribly fuzzed singing and guitars. "Our Connoisseurs Are Feeders" has a bit more of an industrial feel, while "Porcelain Veneers" drops some of the fuzz for more of an `80s goth vibe, but even still they suffer from the same gratuitous use of escalated levels and poorly utilized distortion.

Honeyhander seem afraid to embrace a straight dance-pop feel -- a fear that is not altogether horrible -- but one that can be solved in a number of better ways than simply adding too much distortion and feedback to a track. The resulting melodramatic goth vocals and mess-of-fuzz guitars do nothing but irritate.