2015 was the year of Wolf Alice. Now set aside 2016 as the year of Black Honey, the Brighton, England-based quartet who have already taken the world by storm. Late in 2014, they released their eponymous debut EP, which drew comparisons to Lush and even Mazzy Starr for the band’s blend of garage-infused, cinematic indie-pop. This was best evidenced on “Madonna”, which was re-released last year as a single. This description, however, ignored the fact that Black Honey have been a rock band from their early origins.
Last month, Black Honey shared their second EP, Headspin, which is a reminder of the multiple sides of the band. “All My Pride” is hands down one of the best songs of the year. It is a ferocious, gritty, two minutes and forty seconds of non-stop energy, perfectly complementing the song’s “one-big-middle-finger” message. While the track represents arguably the band’s most aggressive song to date, “All My Pride” retains the band’s trademark cinematic approach that is bottled up into a blazing garage rocker. Not only can Black Honey take us to the movies, but they can also take us to the stadium to blow our minds .
The title track sees Black Honey revert to its signature, cinematic approach, but one that is akin to a brooding, Quentin Tarantino-style western. It is a wonderfully delirious song as frontwoman Izzy Baker’s quaking vocals soar above the harrowing instrumentation. The band, meanwhile, reverts back to the grungy, guitar-driven rock on the superb “On Your Time”. Starting off as a lush, shoegaze dream, the track intensifies into a blistering, guitar-driven rocker. The song’s climax is one of those “F*** yeah!” moments.
The EP ends with the dizzying “Mocking Swing”. This gentle rocker demonstrates Black Honey’s ability to build drama with minimalist effects. The songwriting is impeccable and the music is stark yet breathtaking. It is part PJ Harvey, part Elle King, and just one terrific, mesmerizing track.
Headspin may just be four songs, but it is a terrific EP. It showcases a young band finding its stride, whose best days are only in front of them. It is an exciting thought since Black Honey have already blown us away with two awesome EPs. What else could they have in store? Needlessly to say, we cannot wait to find out.
Black Honey are Izzy Baxter (vocals/guitar), Chris Ostler (guitar), Tommy Taylor (bass), and Tom Dewhurst (drums).
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