The previous year's 'Rollercoaster' EP had been a letdown. Baggy and grunge had transformed the musical landscape since JAMC's last album, the relatively disappointing 'Automatic.' Could the Mary Chain still cut the musical mustard in 1992? 4 tracks in we had our answer: the Reid brothers were back to their inspired best.
The trick lay in deftly incorporating fashionable innovations like 'shuffling beats' into their music while still maintaining the essence of the Mary Chain sound. That's why 'Honey's Dead' still sounds fresh and exciting whereas an album like, say, 'Spartacus' by The Farm, also from 1992, sounds horribly dated.
The album kicks off with one of their finest singles, 'Reverence.' "I wanna die just like JFK/I wanna die in the USA........" snarls Jim Reid nihilistically. The cover shot of the single featured a photograph of the mourning party, led by Jackie Onassis, at John F. Kennedy's funeral.
Next up is the salacious throb of 'Teenage Lust', one of those sleazy tales that Jim's vocals are so well suited to. By way of contrast, 'Almost Gold' shows an unexpectedly romantic side to the band. Sandwiched in-between these two gems is a sparkling single, 'Far Gone And Out'. Other top tracks include the cacophonous 'Catchfire' and 'Sugar Ray'.
The quality does dip a little towards the end. To my mind, 'Rollercoaster' is the only weak single they ever released, and 'Tumbledown' and 'I Can't Get Enough' are Mary Chain-by-numbers.
However, when listened to as a whole, 'Honey's Dead' was another intelligent step forward for a band who it was feared would always live in the shadow of their seminal debut album, 'Psychocandy.'