Album review: BLACK HONEY
Written by Lindsey Gray on 21st September 2018
By Laura Doyle
You’d think Brighton would have hit its saturation point by now in terms of brilliant up-and-coming bands, (Royal Blood, Architects) but then along comes Black Honey to prove me wrong all over again.
Formed in 2014, this indie rock four piece have been causing quite a stir ever since the release of the eponymous debut EP in the same year, but It’s taken them another four years to put their name to another record; this time it’s their first full length album.
Black Honey wastes no time getting into gear, with “I Only Hurt The Ones I Love” fuelled by the vocals from Izzy B. Phillips which, when she gives it some welly, almost reach Beth Ditto levels of husky passion. And that’s without even mentioning the jangly pop rock tune where each instrument packs just the right punch without overpowering each other.
Vocal distortion and synths appear to be all the rage for album single “Midnight,” and the chorus reminds me of Nightwork era Scissor Sisters, if they only had been much rockier and a little less mainstream. Not that I’m saying that’s a bad thing in my books, anyway. Who doesn’t love classic Scissor Sisters at their prime?
After being so heated throughout this record, “Blue Romance” is exactly the kind of toned down dreamy vibe you need at the halfway point. Too often breathy slow songs bore me, but this one is intriguing enough for me not to reach for the skip button.
“Into the Nightmare” might be of particular interest to any Royal Blood fans out there, since this track was a collaboration between the two bands and definitely contributes to the RB influences easily picked up in this one. This punky track is a fairly spectacular display of Black Honey’s diversity: they can go from cool breezy indie to rock in the blink of an eye.
“Just Calling” is that 80s pop inspired track every album of 2018 apparently needs, but the synth scale incorporated between beats is enough to make my mind up on this song: it’s pretty great.
That’s exactly my opinion on Black Honey. It is pretty great. They flit between genres so easily without losing their own branding that you barely even notice what’s rock and what’s pop. The entirety of this record sounds great, has great energy, and, most importantly, has band members with great talent. It’s been well worth the four year wait. Let’s hope they don’t keep us waiting this long next time. LD