ALBUM REVIEW: Honey Revenge – Retrovision
Photo Credit: Jordan Knight
Although the pandemic was a tough time for many artists, there would be no Honey Revenge without it. Vocalist Devin Papadol and guitarist Donovan Lloyd connected over Instagram, and the rest is history. They have been making a splash across the US and are releasing their debut album, Retrovision, via Thriller Records. Summing the album up, Papadol describes it as one “of duality” – and it is an accurate observation.
Although Honey Revenge like to be considered genreless, the duo hit the pop-rock spot with their lead single, Airhead. This song has launched them into the stratosphere. With catchy guitar riffs seen in The 1975’s UGH! and more grungy riffs, Lloyd is already demonstrating their skills in marrying genres together to create something incredibly catchy. The song feels nostalgic yet new with the guitar techniques they use.
As for the lyrics, they mismatch with the happy pop sound. Papadol notes that Airhead is “a self-sabotage anthem” based on their experience. It’s a heartfelt song that demonstrates self-awareness whilst sounding fun. There are many things listeners can relate to with lyrics “with the best intention, I can’t make it right” and “I saw dumb things that I don’t mean” – feelings of being young and learning about ourselves. With themes of self-sabotage popular in pop-rock and pop-punk right now, Airhead fits in nicely alongside chart-toppers like Self Sabotage by Waterparks and speaks to millennial and Gen Z pop-rock/pop-punk fans.
Another gem on this album is Sensitive. With the grunge rock vibe, this song sounds different to the others. It is angry in lyric, melody and instrumentation. Addressing self-doubt, rejection and losing someone makes this song the most emotional. The opening feels angry and the clarity of Papadol’s pronunciation cuts deep. It is particularly harrowing when Papadol sings the metaphor “ripping me apart from the inside out” before the chorus bursts into multi-layered instruments. Listeners can picture the metaphor as everything builds up and is released. Be it emotion or literal internal organs, Papadol’s storytelling and melody allow interpretation.
As the album draws to a close, the second to last song stands out for all the right reasons. Like Airhead, the duo cleverly created a track that blends disco, pop and rock elements to create Worst Apology. With a groovy guitar riff and an emphatic drum beat, there is a sense of urgency. The song builds up to the chorus, where Papadol gives everything, belting “Don’t care what you think.” The emotion is raw, relatable and shows their vulnerability. Papadol is an incredible vocalist and lyricist. This song deserves the hype.
For a debut album, Honey Revenge came to slay. There is so much going on, but it works. The duo are very talented in how they compose each song. Likewise, the songs address relatable themes; listeners will have had something that happened in the song, happen to them. To sum it up, Retrovision is fun, with well-thought-out lyrics based on personal life stories that Papadol shares with listeners.
Standout Tracks: Airhead, Murphy’s Law, Worst Apology
For Fans Of: State Champs, Waterparks, As It Is
Written by: Jo Lisney