Alternative Rock | Indie Rock
When I first discovered the Brighton-based indie rock band Black Honey, it was round the time that I was commencing my last minute reviews week for 2018, the same year than listeners saw the arrival of the band’s self-titled debut album.
While that album was most certainly a very enjoyable experience, it felt….to be expected, in my opinion. Perhaps because I was so used to the abundant indie scene that Brighton carries, Black Honey’s debut album made me feel as if the band were still working on carving out their signature style. I was hoping that, with their sophomore effort, I get to see Black Honey really get their aesthetic across. And thankfully, they have succeeded in making this possible.
Titled Written & Directed, Black Honey’s second album release sees the group veer towards a more rock-inspired avenue, as opposed to the indie-pop vibe that felt rife on their debut. And as a result, Black Honey have created this enjoyably Americanised style of indie rock that keep the album feeling more consistent of a project, while also carrying enough versatility regarding the moods of each track, which allows Written & Directed to also feel highly engaging. In a nutshell, I really enjoyed the more gritty approach that Black Honey tried out with this new album, and I felt that it said approach made things easier for them in terms of bringing listeners more of who they are as a band.
Written & Directed could arguably also be another example of an album that sees the newfound fusion of rock and jazz elements. Namely in tracks like “I Do It to Myself” and “Fire”, we get a notable use of brass instrumentation to give these tracks an almost Mariachi-style kick.
On the flip-side, we have Black Honey channeling their inner Royal Blood, as shown by tracks like “Run for Cover” and “Disinfect”. And while these two different flavours, when put side-by-side, still seem to work together, it does diversify the albums overall feel to a point where Written & Directed remains exciting throughout.
Along with this, the bright and energetic atmosphere that this album creates, ultimately makes Written & Directed feel like an incredibly apt album for the younger spring days. It most certainly sets an atmospheric stage for things to come this year, and does it in a way that certainly gets my hopes up.
All in all, I feel that Black Honey have most certainly succeeded in the one thing that they needed to do most with their sophomore record, by giving me a much clearer sense of the direction the Brighton band wants to take, and renewing my full attention towards them.
Favourite Tracks: Run for Cover | Back of the Bar | Fire
Least Favourite Track: Summer ‘92
Enjoyment: 8/10 | Memorability: 8/10 | Atmosphere: 9/10
Uniqueness: 7/10 | Satisfaction: 9/10 | Narrative: 7/10