Black Honey return with their new album Written & Directed. Having been responsible for some of the catchiest singles recently, the Brighton act have caught my attention and left me anticipating this record quite a bit. Fortunately, it knocks that anticipation out of the park. Becoming one of the best of the year.

Kicking off with ‘I Like the Way You Die’, Black Honey ensure Written & Directed gets going in a big way. Its chorus is a booming eruption of sound, as its stomping beat steps up (pun intended) the ferocity, matching the Western-like guitar riffs. It immediately transports you into a Western world and gets you feeling like John Wayne. Along with the soaring harmony it creates one of the best moments on the record and really gets the adrenaline going. ‘Run for Cover’ follows with an equally thrilling performance, tearing through the airwaves with a series of riffs that do not wish to hang around too long.

Lead single ‘Beaches’ sounds just as good as it did upon release. It’s jangly surf-rock instrumental seeps into the hips, with the rhythm emphasised by the drums and numerous handclaps. There’s no way you’re not in a good mood listening to this. It’s also clear by this point that Black Honey know their way around a hook or two. ‘Back of the Bar’ slows down the pace but doesn’t compromise the catchy vibes with a chorus filled with more wandering harmonies.

Written & Directed is a fantastic album. Black Honey deliver a record that doesn’t mess around. Ten songs. Thirty minutes. Boom. Get in and get out. There’s no time to waste, and that really helps drive home how thunderous and hard hitting it can be. While it sits within the same foundation, the band aren’t afraid to take their sound down different routes. I’m going to remember the heavy, looming distortion of ‘Disinfect’ for a long time, and there’s always a place in my heart for the acoustic-led ‘Gabrielle’. This record solidifies Black Honey as one of the best emerging acts around.

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