Formerly using the heaviness of their guitars to incite daydreams, Brighton quartet Black Honey have removed their collective head from the clouds to face the bleakness of real life that was once shrouded in denial. On A Fistful of Peaches, all that remains from their utopia is said heaviness, now used as a weapon of resistance, raising fists with rewarding anthemics.
Heavy is, ironically, less heavy than much of the tracklist. The blowout is there, but it merges with a wall of sound, another thread in the tapestry that stuffs its audience into a confined space, allowing those listening to feel the pain of grief that influenced the song. It’s an anthem, but less overt an anthem as Cut the Cord, gliding through the heroics of The Killers or Kings of Leon whilst retaining distortion, or Out of My Mind, contemplating vices and dependencies in the face of crippling reality, using its own canticle roars to become your new vice.
No matter how torturous our lives may become, A Fistful of Peaches is devoutly our friend. Its anthems offer solidarity, as do the motivational, spoken-word chapters of Up Against It, following an inferno of machinery in its quick instrumental bridge, powered by synthesisers or guitars that sound like synthesisers. Friendship exists in the simplistic hook of OK – “I just want you to be okay”.
On the flipside, Black Honey become one with gloom, see the tormented thrusts of I’m a Man. There’s a boom in the drumbeat of Charlie Bronson, reminiscent of Oasis’s Fucking in the Bushes, a fuzzy panic that conveys what its lyrics convey; the trap of thinking the worst of yourself.
Merging these feelings, whilst applying off-the-cuff garage-style rock, notates an intuitiveness, smartly-crafted amid spontaneity, like musical muscle memory. It’s nonstop, using kooky atmospheres to reel outcasts into an alternate reality mainstream on Weirdos, cruising down the highway in a simplistic breeze to ode freedom on the aforementioned Cut the Cord.
And while Bummer may flow with a swagger too trendy for its own good (it even seems to duplicate Rihanna’s Diamonds), there’s no doubting Black Honey’s conviction. At every point, A Fistful of Peaches is either joyfully noisy, motivational, or interconnective. It takes on new challenges, producing an album with progressions beyond the norm.