Black Honey – Written and Directed
This is the second album from the Brighton four-piece, Black Honey. Since the release of their self-titled 2018 album, they have made the top 40, graced the cover of NME, supported Queens of the Stone Age and Royal Blood, played Glastonbury and been the faces and sound of Roberto Cavalli’s Milan Fashion Week show.
This latest record is an homage to Quentin Tarantino, from the title, to the album artwork and font, to the raucously retro, pick-and-mix feel of the music. Tarantino’s soundtracks are integral to his films: always unimpeachably cool and kitsch in the best way. Written and Directed‘s sound and the aesthetic of the videos (directed by the band) channel that energy; the video for Run For Cover looks like Dusty Springfield playing with Queens of the Stone Age. The sound mixes bright rockabilly, thrashy, punky guitars and restless vocal energy. All of the songs come in at under or around the three-minute mark – they make their point and don’t outstay their welcome, but still pack a lot of ideas in.
The album opens with pulpy, violent imagery and lyrical and musical bombast on I Like the Way You Die, frontwoman Izzy B Phillips turning cinematic conventions on their head by putting herself in control as she sings: “You stop talking/I start listening… I like the way you die, boy/Sorry, love is not for free/I’ll lock you up and eat the key.” Her vocal swings from sweet to raw in an instant, with an anthemic feel that is indecently catchy. The following song Run for Cover has an elastic bass line to start and a hedonistic energy. Another highlight is Beaches, which sounds like an updated version of the Belle Stars’ 1982 version of The Clapping Song, mixed with an updated take on Blur’s Girls and Boys and the vocal delivery of Peaches on F*ck the Pain Away. The result creates something rebellious and gorgeously addictive.
Disinfect crawls in sounding like peak Garbage, guitars drenched in distortion with a disarmingly sweet yet aggressive vocal. The vibe slows down on the final two tracks, Fire and Gabrielle, the latter begging a love rival to “give him back to me”. It’s infectiously fun pop-rock.
Written and Directed is released on 19th March 2021. For further information or to order the album visit Black Honey’s website here.
Watch the video for the single Run for Cover here: