“What Makes A Man” by Stereo Honey – A Song Review
An explanation for the continued excitement around Stereo Honey is that the four-member band has skills in delivering crisply played guitar riffs, rolling percussion, vocals that are comfortable in the falsetto range, and near-scholarly lyrical content. It’s a formidable arsenal at the disposal of the Londoners.
In 2017, Stereo Honey pushed its way into the Indie spotlight with “The Bay.” The song, which was motivated by a tragedy in northwest UK, remains a staple in top Spotify guitar playlists. “Angel,” another track on the band’s “Monuments” EP, was inspired by an incident relating to the allure of a particular statute to a passing motorist. Now comes “What Makes A Man,” which similarly combines guitar-driven instrumental with subject matter that’s not typical in the Indie universe. Lead vocalist, Pete Restrick says:
“’What Makes A Man’ is loosely based around the Emma Payne poem ‘The Boxer’ in that it concerns a figure that starts to unravel. In the song the figure, like the boxer, is broken, clinging to some vestige of manhood even as it reveals itself to be fantasy. And yet, this figure clings to this fantasy with desperation, because it’s the only thing that is known to it. Masculinity is regressive, it teaches young boys not to show vulnerability, not to talk about their feelings, never to show weakness, not to be afraid...”
The lyrical depth is interesting, but “What Makes A Man” is a force because of the clarity of the rolling guitar and the power of the rolling thunder percussion. That is evident beginning at 2:11, when the song transitions from instrument-supported vocals to vocals-supported instruments.
The video of the track is included below. It shows yet another artistic dimension of Stereo Honey. The members of the London band are Pete Restrick (vocals, guitar), Nicky Boiardi (guitars, keys), Ben Edwards (bass), and Jake Black (drums).