Black Honey // Written And Directed // Album Review
Right out of the gate, it’s clear that no other title could be more fitting for this album. “Written And Directed” as a whole plays out more like a movie, starring front-woman Izzy B. Phillips as the leading role. With themes of female identity and power throughout, it feels like the album has arrived at the perfect time – especially given recent events and the #allwomen movement. With how much the world has changed in the short period since the band released their critically-acclaimed debut back in 2018, the material on this record takes a darker turn.
Throbbing, grimy sub-bass over a foot-stomping groove kicks the band’s second record off with ‘I Like The Way You Die’. This song feels very anthemic with a pounding rhythm, albeit a little predictable sounding with its primal, call-to-arms style and structure. However, the hectic feel that is made up in the second half with the use of distant siren sounds and heavy, fuzzed out guitar leads clashing with the clean but shouted vocals makes for a strong opener.
Up next, ’Run For Cover’ burns through 3 minutes sounding like your typical 90s indie-punk rager being filtered through a big muff fuzz pedal. The quirky drums and vocal breaks on this one make for a really fun listen and an overall garage-rock feel.
*Boom clap-clap boom clap*. ‘Beaches’ shows up next with that familiar drum beat. Sure, it may be a little overused by now but that rinse and repeat method really serves its purpose as it lays down the foundation that makes this song a banger. You know, it’s the kinda thing that really gets a crowd moving. Works every time!
The production on these tracks was the real stand out point for me. The raw, live feel of the band has been captured perfectly while still sounding dirty and fuzzy in all the right places, resulting in a classic, exhilarating alt-rock sound and feel. The lo-fi aesthetics in various sections of the songs really help elevate those massive choruses and riffs, making it clear the band was focused was on putting together a full-throttle album of straight forward bangers; most of which barely make it past the 3 minute mark. That’s not to say the record doesn’t have its fair share of slow-burners, stripping things right down on the more softer cuts such as ‘I Do It To Myself’ and melancholy acoustic closer ‘Gabrielle’.
With all these elements condensed into just 10 short tracks in around 30 minutes, it’s a breathless trip all the way down to the final cut. “Written And Directed” by BLACK HONEY is available everywhere on March 18th via Foxfive Records.
Black Honey – Written And Directed is out Friday, March 19th