LOUDER REVIEWS: 'Written & Directed' - Black Honey
Art inspires art. It’s a constant occurrence that happens where music inspires film, theatre inspires paintings, film inspires musicals, and more. It’s like a big web of inspiration and creativity for different types of art. One such influential artist is Quentin Tarantino, director of films like 'Pulp Fiction', 'Kill Bill', 'Once Upon A Time In Hollywood', and many more. His films have an aesthetic that many fans recognise him for, and is the aesthetic that inspired Black Honey with their second album, 'Written & Directed'. So, how does the indie rock quartet fair with their second outing with this artistic inspiration?
Very well done, to be honest. A lot of Tarantino’s jukebox soundtracks contained a lot of classic rock and country tracks and definitely helped the band in their music writing, for example, 'Gabrielle' is instrumentally similar to Nancy Sinatra’s 'Bang Bang (My Baby Shot Me Down)' from 'Kill Bill Vol 1'. The main difference is the intriguing lyrics that bring listeners closer to the musicians. Expressive lyrics are also prevalent in tracks like 'Believer', 'I Like The Way You Die', and 'Summer ‘92'. They’re all sung from the heart and have a lot of meaning pumped into them by the musicians. On tracks like 'I Do It To Myself' in particular, it feels like the band are sharing their own experiences through music, which adds to the relatability and how people warm to the quartet.
As mentioned before, the sound is very inspired by the music featured in Tarantino films. However, this isn’t necessarily a bad thing, as it still shows their creativity and their dedication to the aesthetic. For example, 'Beaches' has a surf rock vibe to it, similar to 'Miserlou' from 'Pulp Fiction', but the band elevate it with their instrumentation and what they do within the style to make it their own. There’s a lot of influence from the music that has inspired the iconic director, but also still within their iconic style of music-making.
Overall, it’s a great mesh of styles and it lives up to the project assignment of making the aesthetic their own. It’s a brilliant step forward from their first album and shows they can really take on any sound and style and still sound like themselves. It’ll be very interesting to see what the rock quartet do next on their musical journey and maybe take on other directors known for jukebox musicals... Black Honey take on Edgar Wright next perhaps? Even so, 'Written and Directed' is still a great record and will easily convert anyone into being a fan of Black Honey.
'Written & Directed' is out on the 19th of March - pre-order the record here:
Check out the video for their lates single, 'Disinfect', here: