“Refuse to chase a fleeting feeling again”
They say that revenge is a dish best-served cold. But if you’ve listened to Retrovision by Honey Revenge, you may prefer it sweetened with wit, a sprinkle of humor, and a dash of self-awareness. The band’s journey has been a wild ride (pun intended), and one that gives newer bands hope that they too can create a sound that is all their own.
Yes, Honey Revenge got their start on TikTok––but their unique branding and unique hooks keep them from failing our short attention spans. Their songs are fresh but never fleeting and their virality is authentic and always earned. Receiving over 125,000 followers and 2.4 million likes since their start in 2021, these stats are the least interesting parts about the band and their story.
Members Devin Papadol and Donovan Lloyd sparkle as humans and as songwriters. Coming from different projects on different coasts, the formation of Honey Revenge was kismet, determined by the pop-rock gods who were ready for a new band to take the ranks. Boldly introducing themselves to the world with their debut LP, Retrovision, released via Thriller Records, the band is letting listeners know that they are here to stay. It feels like the soundtrack of your favorite Disney Channel Original Movie, blending the nostalgia of growing up in the early 2000s with the modern struggles of being in your 20s. Retrovision is fun, at times flirty, and fiercely relatable from beginning to end.
Playful Yet Self-Aware
The record opens with “Airhead,” a playfully self-aware track filled with djent-adjacent guitars and pop production elements. It is a high-energy introduction to Devin’s well-crafted lyrics. She does a great job painting a complete portrait of herself, including what she deems her shortcomings. But no matter what, she always has the best intentions. Complete with Donovan’s killer guitar solo, “Airhead” sets the record up for success.
Songs like “Seeing Negative (Disappointment)” and “Are You Impressed?” seem to be commentaries on the music industry, and the never-ending pursuit of success. Being a woman in the scene is challenging, and marching to the beat of your own drum is tough when you’re forced to please the executives in suits. In “Seeing Negative (Disappointment),” Dev sings “I’m so put together but so unglued. I know what I want but don’t have a clue.” This line has so much emotion that the listener feels her every shred of self-doubt. Yet, “Are You Impressed” takes a more lighthearted approach lyrically, adding fun synths and hard-hitting choruses into the mix. The music video even features a cameo from idobi’s own Nick Major!
Juxtaposing Vulnerability And Confidence
While the record is chock full of confidence, it’s also flowing with vulnerability. “Favorite Song” has the innocence of a teenage romance and could inspire anyone to start scribbling hearts in their notebook. Every pulsing synthesizer and guitar line glimmer with optimism and take the listener back to when they had their first crush. The band turns this vulnerability on its ear with “Sensitive” and “Scape Goat,” two angrier tracks that showcase their Warped Tour influences. Stripping away the pop ear candy, Donovan takes the spotlight with distorted chugs reminiscent of legacy acts like Sleeping With Sirens.
The record ends with “Distracted,” Honey Revenge’s second single release. Once again on a vulnerable note, the song is almost a goodbye letter to the inattentive person that Devin is running away from. She decides to create her own spotlight rather than begging them to see her. It feels like the perfect closing chapter to the journey Devin takes to realize her self-worth. All in all, their debut record is a collection of songs that is just as complex as it is catchy.
When you listen to Retrovision, take a good look at yourself in the mirror. Embrace your flaws but don’t take them too seriously. Take what is yours rather than waiting for opportunities to strike. But most importantly, look back at your memories as lessons rather than negatives. Now that is the sweetest revenge.