The cloak of secrecy removed, Black Honey storm to another nostalgia soaked victory with their new EP-‘Headspin’. Although they have said that they wish to stay far from the mainstream, they are going the wrong way about it; surely it is impossible to avoid recognition when you release such good music. ‘Headspin’ is no different as each song is as brilliant as the last, surely propelling the Brighton-rockers into widespread recognition. After reviewing a teaser of this EP in my Flying Vinyl-April review, my excitement for this release has been sky-high, and, after listening to the EP solidly since it came out, I can now provide a more in-depth review.
‘All My Pride’ is the Black Honey we all know and love; driven by a punchy, rock-steady drum-beat throughout, it is sure to be the pinnacle of their live show. Izzy B Phillips’ woozy vocals overlay solid bass and guitar chords, which contrast perfectly, giving the essence that the song could have a melancholy message. However, as the song progresses, it develops into a more triumphant mood, confidently assuring all the doubters that Black Honey have nothing they need to prove.
The title track, ‘Headspin’ tones back on the grunge-feel, instead choosing to emit a more reminiscent feel. A late night bus journey, staring out of the window at the world, deep in thought, as ‘Headspin’ slowly builds in the background is what immediately comes to mind. Beginning with just guitar and vocals, the layering builds continuously, including tasteful bass and drums, before launching into a full-blown instrumental crescendo, led by fills around the drum-kit and soft bass, accompanied by single chords on guitar. Izzy’s haunting wordless vocals beseech the audience in the background as roles reverse and the guitar begins soloing, taking the forefront. The music fades into the distance.
Confidence returns with ‘On Your Time’; the bass-snare led drums are back, alongside the American-esque guitars which have been such a trademark of black honey on their previous releases. You know that every time the guitar cuts out to leave only the drum rhythm that a crescendo is sure to follow into a sing-along chorus, which is sure to get the crowd swaying. A short and sweet testimony that Black Honey can still do what they do best-make captivating indie rock.
Finally, we delve into the hazy and mysterious depths of Black Honey’s musical repertoire with ‘Mocking Swing’. Eerie guitar picking is ever present and I found myself making a surprising comparison between the vocals and that of the verses in ‘Supremacy’ by Muse-you are always unsure where this is going next. Izzy’s under the breath whisperings of ‘One, two, three, four’ leave you half expecting a thundering chorus, but this is never present; you never leave the edge of your seat. You may think that the barely audible birdsong towards the end would be comforting, but in fact it just adds to the suspense, the suspense of not knowing what musical direction Black Honey will take next.
‘Headspin’ is their second EP, and picks up from where their debut left off two years ago. It sounds like a continuation of the same movie soundtrack, joining the action at its climax with ‘All My Pride’ before reaching a slower pace through the falling action with ‘Headspin’ and ‘On Your Time’ and finally finishing with the denouement of ‘Mocking Swing’. Black Honey are definitely ready for an album (which they have said is already written), and their future looks as interesting as the life of their mascot-Jerry the flamingo.