HONOURS [THE TIPPING POINT PREMIERE]

My, you get your money’s worth from Honours. Today’s tip ‘August’ (available from Killing Moon Records on fetching black vinyl) is a shiny guitar-pop nugget genetically programmed for maximum impact – whether on your headphones, radio, or flouncing about on a festival stage. Urgent, arpeggiated synths are joined just seconds later by Steve Hughes’ accomplished, yearning voice – which contains more than a hint of Simon le Bon, lucky thing. There’s big guitar riffs, an impossibly vertiginous chorus or three and a vibe of irrepressible confidence throughout. The arrangement is as tight as a snare drum, with nary a second wasted where something isn’t building up, slowing down, suddenly dropping out or kicking back in.

Honours are fresh to the London scene, with ‘August’ as their first physical release. There’s lots to admire here – the snare-tight arrangement, the revival of the three-minute guitar-band single, the potent blend of keyboards and guitar. Perhaps the lack of a conventional chorus hook is the only serious omission from the Penguin Instruction Book Of Pop Music. The obvious comparison would be with The Killers, but don’t let that put you off – since Mr Flowers and co have fallen from grace, an heir must be found. This lot should do the Honours.

Words by Martin Sharman

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