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With last year’s self-released, eponymous debut EP, We Have Band made quite an impression, winning over anyone who would listen with their jittery blend of post-punk and electro-pop. The Manchester trio’s music is often forged along a charmingly deconstructionist approach, with refrains invoked so often as to become musical figures in and of themselves, and with their instrumentation standing starkly in an expanse of negative space. It is both intellectual and instinctual; their compositions bear analytical scrutiny well, flowing out of and simultaneously subverting traditions of synth-pop and indie-rock, but even more importantly, they pass the more essential tests of listenability and infectiousness. WHB, the group’s premiere full-length, will be released come May 11th via the French label Naive Records and is almost assured to break the band through to a much larger audience.
One of the new album’s tracks is “Honeytrap,” an unshakable cut that sounds a bit like The Whip stipping off the polish and going brainy a la The Juan Maclean. (In fact, it’s a just a few cowbells and hard snare fills shy of being a potential DFA Records 7″.) I’m not quite sure what a honeytrap is, but if, as the chorus says, “This is a honeytrap,” then I certainly don’t mind being ensnared.
All three members of We Have Band contribute vocals as well as music to the song, which is patterned in a mirror formation with the vocals isolated as elements at the beginning and end. In between, Knight Rider synths and barbed guitar riffs flesh out the melodies over a restrained yet effective drum beat. Already in their short career, We Have Band have proven especially adept at exerting control over their compositions, knowing when to dam up certain components and open the floodgates on others. “Honeytrap” is no exception and will likely earn the threesome some well-deserved new devotees.