Bull Engines Of Honey

Label
Self-Release
Released
15th April 2024

Format Info

CD

Awaiting Vinyl start of May.

Bull were formed by vocalist and songwriter Tom Beer and guitarist Dan Lucas, in their schooldays, taking inspiration from bands like Yuck, The Modern Lovers, Pavement, The Kinks and the Pixies. The rest of the band were recruited from the small but vital York music scene, with Tom Gabbatiss on drums, Kai West on bass (having played with cult heroes the Littlemores) and Tom’s sister Holly Beer joining in 2021 on keys and vocals.

My favourite live band has returned with their 3rd full length album Engines of Honey, a perfect soundtrack for the onset of spring. I’ve seen them at least eight times, they have an electric energy and play their songs with vivacity and differently every time illustrating great musicianship and pleasure. Don’t just take it from me: Stephen Malkmus is a fan and in 2022 they had a dreamy experience of supporting their heroes Pavement at the O2 Academy in Leeds.

Consistently making catchy melodic guitar driven songs and Head Exploder, a favourite of the new album, delivers J Mascis style riffs and gorgeous harmonies. Front man Tom Beer explained “the last song written and last to be recorded. As a result it has a simplistic and fresh production, a simple ‘rock-out’ with Dinosaur Jr inspired shredding, Frank Black ect, backing vocals and sparkly 90s mandolin and chimes to sweeten the deal. The song, like all the songs, is in part about the confusion of being in a band and pushing your artistic wares, wondering who’s fault it all is – plus bliss.

Opening track and first single ‘start a new’ is infectious and builds with bass, flute, backing choir and guitar into a euphoric crescendo. It’s worth checking their live performance with York Steiner school choir. Bull – Start a New, live with York Steiner school choir

I really admire their DIY ethic and courage to try new things. On their last album they invited 50 artists to make a painting and take four pictures during the process and that created much of the music video for Bonzo Please. For single Red Rooves of this album they had Gracie Dorie, Louis Samuel Cooper, Holly Beer and Dan Lucas making miniature scenes and houses to create a playful animated video and it also features a watercolour of Tom Beer’s. It fits well with the album artwork which was ‘a way as a response to the previous record, an original idea to make another giant collage became an idea to make a tiny collage and then with the help of Kai West’s  sister Cherry and her partner Tom’s 3D printing capabilities, the band created model versions of themselves alongside tiny cute stuff which is peppered through the album’s package. The back cover shows a photo of a model village, referencing the band’s earlier idea for the cover, to make a tiny world that references each track on the album.”

They put all their support acts on to their tour posters, and they are always encouraging and inspiring people to be creative whilst creating excellent pop music.

Laura / L Wade