Album Review: Just Like Honey

Just Like Honey is a compilation album released in early February via Bandcamp by photographer/podcaster Bertrand Bosrédon, which brings together 11 bands covering the classic 1985 Jesus and Mary Chain track of that name. All profits are to be donated to Breast Cancer Care.

So, aside from the admirably obvious incentive of supporting a worthwhile cause, why no earth would anyone buy an LP with 11 versions of the same song? Firstly - it's a brilliant song. The J&MC's fourth single, third from the seminal Psychocandy, Just Like Honey is in essence so wonderfully simple that it's a perfect choice for either relaying in the spirit of the original, or alternatively, for making something completely new.

The covers on this compilation definitely live up to the challenge:

  • Laki Mera - A completely stripped down version, even more lo-fi than the original.
  • Oh Minnows - Dreampop / Shoegazey interpretation with icy electronics and swirling guitars.
  • Keep Shelly in Athens - Reverb-laden minimalism with glorious vocals.
  • We Are Enfant Terrible - J&MC covered by disco robots (and an android Annie Lennox)?
  • Kidcity - Darkish Indietronica nestled comfortably in distortion and beats.
  • The Spruce Campbells - A nice fat mainstreamish rock version.
  • Glisk - Bleepy bleepy, warble warble, pleasantly restrained swooshyness.
  • Wanda and Wonder - Ambient feel, smooth bass, a different take on the vocals
  • Shark? - Highlight. A mechanical Bobby Gillepsie pounding behind delightful fuzz.
  • Pursesnatchers - Quirky, in a bored sounding kind of way.
  • Seapony - Cowboy Junkies-esque alt-country stylings that remain fairly close to the original.

All in all, there's admittedly a 'samey' theme running through here, but perhaps not as much as expected as each band generally does a pretty accomplished job of marking their own stamp on the song. And at £8 for a good cause, there's not much room to complain too much.

It remains only to do the decent thing and include the original track from 1985, not that I'm inferring it's head and shoulders above any attempt at cover versions (big fan here), but just as a basis for comparison. It still remains a near-perfect pop track after all these years:

For more information on Mr. Bosrédon's indie podcasts (well worth a few listens) and his photography, head on over to check out http://justlikehoney.co.uk/