Honey delivered one of 2016's most enjoyable rock albums with their debut Love Is Hard, an update of garage, punk, stoner rock, and psych-rock that sounded like the epitome of rock & roll without ever feeling too indebted to the band's influences. On New Moody Judy, the trio hones its sound but, crucially, doesn't refine it. If possible, Honey sounds even more driven and raw the second time around, and even if there's nothing quite as captivating as Love Is Hard's "Monk," their songwriting and energy are more consistent. They kick off New Moody Judy with a truly impressive trio of songs: the fiery opener "Wage Agreement," "Dream Come Now," which invokes rock & roll's pure magic when Dan Wise sings the chorus, and the brooding title track, which evokes Iggy Pop even before Wise sings "I was your passenger." Honey incorporate their wide-ranging influences more organically than they did on Love Is Hard, possibly because of the jam sessions that spawned the album. In the best possible way, New Moody Judy sounds like the band just threw a couple of mikes into the fray to capture their wild yawps and wilder solos. Where Love Is Hard's tightest songs were the highlights, New Moody Judy combines the hookiness of Honey's debut with that jammy spontaneity on standouts like the storming "Hungry" and "Peggy Ray," both of which showcase Wise's formidable guitar skills. Thanks to the band's fearless, committed performances, New Moody Judy finds Honey coming into their own.