Here are our thoughts on the new Black Honey album.
Date published: 17th Mar 2023
Black Honey have been fiercely independent since the beginning. Always utilising a DIY aesthetic to their advantage, the 60s and Quentin Tarantino films have always been key parts of their style. Making a mixture of glam and indie rock, they have cultivated a strong audience and they're now on their third album.
Titled 'A Fistful of Peaches', we wanted to see where the band are at in this present moment and whether it changes or adds to their established style. Here's our track-by-track take.
Not ones to make a quiet start, 'Charlie Bronson' is an all-action opener that never attempts to muzzle the fuzz of the guitar riffs. Singer Izzy B Phillips promises to take you down with her as she channels Charles Bronson. This single is one of the heaviest of their career to date.
Definitely continuing the trend from the last track, 'Heavy' is uncompromising when it comes to pace. It makes for a listening experience that feels like a constant rush. The message of the track surrounds pushing yourself too far to the point that you need to step back and take a break.
Up Against It
That early sense of being up for the fight is swapped out for further recognition of needing to look after yourself. Don't squish down your thoughts inside and let them fester. Surrounded by a hail storm of moody guitars, it sees the band carry on their rock-heavy trajectory.
Out Of My Mind
When it comes to the guitar playing so far, it isn't anything that you haven't heard before but Phillips' commanding presence at the forefront of the mix helps to tie things together into something a bit more compelling. We see examples of toxic behaviour as Phillips never wants to stay present in the moment.
The band have now spiralled all the way to their very lowest here as they hit 'Rock Bottom'. A message of resilience comes loud and clear as the band channel a sound that's more gothic this time around, surrounding every part of the space in the cover of shadows.
Cut The Cord
Here, Black Honey showcases their talent for creating a good hook in their chorus' and this one feels completely euphoric. There's a satisfying switch up into a much denser layer of guitar wails later on in the song that hits just right.
We're now at a point where we can say that this is Black Honey's heaviest offering to date and it's a look that suits them down to the ground as their loudest outbursts have often been their most gripping moments. On 'OK' we're getting more of an uplift from that early low.
I'm A Man
Here we see Phillips embodying a misogynistic man who thinks that he can have whatever and whoever he wants. It's a cutting attack on attitudes that are far too prevalent in our society at the moment.
A much slower start sees the guitar treading as if not to wake somebody before gradually growing bolder and bolder. Phillips describes not feeling like herself and stands as a dejected and lonely figure throughout. Some of her vocals can get a bit lost in the mix here.
You can feel a fizzle of electricity running through this song. Directly billed as a song for weirdos, it touches on themes found throughout 00s emo but its directness in doing so is a little bit too jarring and borderline cringe.
It feels like watching rocks land on the ground such is the heaviness of the band's final statement on this album. There's a spark to the guitar playing that makes you feel as if they're about to verge into heavy metal.
Overall, Black Honey have made small changes to their formula by increasing their heaviness and dialling up their amps to a whole new level. It doesn't make them sound like experimenters and they haven't plucked from anywhere particularly new but if you're in the mood for some hard-hitting guitars then 'A Fistful of Peaches' will scratch your itch. There are discussions of mental health and recognition of when you need help, where it's a good thing to have resilience but ultimately should know when to recognise that enough is enough. Here we have a good album but not necessarily a memorable one.
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