The city of Portland, and the Pacific Northwest in general, seems to be overflowing with math rock and prog these days, and for the record, we’re stoked as hell. But you probably already knew that. It’s not exactly news, but pre-pandemic, it seemed the momentum of said scenes could easily be lost in the city’s endless diversions.

Now, it seems like the various scenes have finally started working together in a way that elevates everyone involved, from house shows to psychedelic corporate functions. Honestly, it’s fascinating, and the results are only just beginning to surface.

Take for instance the glorious pairing of Honeybender and Spirit Vision Records, based out of Bend, Oregon, and ran by Strawberry Girls‘ Ben Rosett. You might remember the band from our recent West Coast // Pacific Northwest compilation, which you can check out here.

But either way, do yourself a flavor and check out “Tropical Fish God Complex” below.

One of Honeybender’s most enduring strengths is that they have never tried to stray from their own path. They have an introspective set cheery sound and attitude that subtly belongs to them, and “Tropical Fish God Complex” continues to push inwards while staying fresh and energized.

The material from their 2022 EP Alpaca Bowl could easily say the same, which looking back perhaps wielded Pinback and Built to Spill influences a little more obviously as it featured more prominent vocals and production from the band. We thought that was pretty cool.

That being said, Honeybender get straight to the point with “Tropical Fish Complex,” and we like it pointy. The production and drum sound are also really well balanced on this one, and it’s great to hear everyone with maximum clarity and a little bit of special sauce in the background.

Here’s to hoping the journey into the deep end continues soon enough!

Oh, great. Now we can’t stop thinking about special sauce… we’re pretty sure it’s just Thousand Island. Right? Anyway, check out the rest of the Honeybender discog here, and splash us with a cup of Joe if you want sometime here. Hope everyone is enjoying their weekend and new music everywhere. Thanks for reading!