The curiously upbeat and unusually boisterous album “Cover the Forest” by Honey Clouds is your cure for the mid-day blues.
The album, which is bookmarked throughout with the band’s unique form of controlled chaos, bounces from song to song with excitement and strategy, like a puppy looking for a lost ball. “Fever Rabbit” kicks off everything with a soft, repeating tone and a hip back-beat that slowly peels away by the middle of the song to reveal a heavy guitar riff that leads into vocals by Trey Hughes, with backing by bassist Mandy Wheeler. In fact, Hughes and Wheeler maintain a pseudo-B52s style synchronization within the album that becomes more charming with every passing song.
A favorite of the album is the song “Nestor” where both lead guitarist Ron Harrity and drummer Sean Wilkinson get to show off the full range of their abilities, pushing the vocals out of focus. The talent of the band as a whole is made clear when you realize that they converted things as simple as getting out of your winter clothing (like in “Boots, Boots”) or the junk in your car (as in “Sugar”) into shiny gems of post-punk and rough pop goodness. Finally the aptly titled “Time to Go” wraps things up by ramping everyone up then slowing the tone down completely as if to wish you a goodnight.
Overall the second full album from this indie rock quartet is a fantastic showing. Everything is lovingly and professionally produced. The music is smart — it makes you want to dance when no one is looking.