Those who need an extra dose of 80s nostalgia after bingeing the latest season of Stranger Things will be in Heaven (or the Upside Down) with Hunny’s debut. Drenched in neon, brimming with Summer-y vibes, and featuring ample amounts of awareness, Yes.6 is about as good as retro pop/rock gets this side of Paramore or Pvris. The California band’s sound isn’t simply a polished-to-a-sheen style bereft of personality, though. There’s an edge and songwriting craft that only elevates the plays toward nostalgia and hints at further greatness to come in the future.
Hunny combine synthpop, post-punk, garage rock, 90s alternative, and a love of pop-punk hooks to wonderful ends throughout the record’s efficient eight songs. Interestingly, each of the songs carries a distinct character, emphasizing different aspects of the Hunny sound in wonderful ways. “Halloween” has echoes of the Top Gun soundtrack but is propelled by a smart-aleck goth pop sensibility, while “Lula I’m Not Mad” is like Neck Deep writing a synthwave jam. “Saturday Night” is a bop of the highest order, while “Change Your Mind” veers the closest to Paramore, with its bouncy bass line.
Ultimately, where Yes.6 succeeds the most is how these sonic touchpoints and nostalgia eventually fade into the background, leaving behind a triumphant, effervescent vessel for killer hooks and memorable anthems. The biggest issue is also a sneaky good asset: how short this EP-length record is. There’s little time for ballads or bloat, which makes Hunny’s debut one wonderful introduction. Here’s hoping they can build on this short triumph and add a few songs next time around.