Friday, May 27, 2005:

we have a groove and we're not afraid to use it

A Band of Bees -- Angryman
When I was young I used to watch the Spider-Man and His Amazing Friends cartoons on TV. One of them, the one with Swarm, always creeped me out, though I'd insist on watching it anyway. Swarm was, as anyone could guess, a swarm of killer bees with psychic powers. It was semi-intelligent, persistent, and, contrary to all known laws of physics and biology, could talk. What it said mostly was "Swarm," (or, more properly, "SWAAAAAAARRRM"), and this was what creeped me out. It could also control people and was, perhaps in retaliation for its brethren's years of making honey for human consumption, bent on world domination.

This Band of Bees is a bit different. I don't think they have any plans towards world-domination, though they could probably get farther on it than Swarm did. The Band of Bees are a group from the Isle of Wight who blend psychedelic rock with bits of blues and dub and Latin rhythms. This track is a buttery sweet bit of R&B off Sunshine HIt Me, loose and funky, with a heavy mid-70s vibe to it. But damn is it smooth. Prince, Andre 3000, and Sly and the Family Stone would all be proud to call this one theirs.

Their cover of Os Mutante's "A Minha Menina" takes the original (which was plenty good already) and kicks it up a notch (Said the Gramophone covered it last year); "No Trophy" is a great bit of dub; "This Town" sounds like a lazy Sunday afternoon with a squelching/bopping organ, brushed drums, an acoustic guitar, and an easy melody. And then, after a bit of a wild ride, the album closes on some mellow tracks. Nice. The album as a whole is innovative and solid.
[Sunshine Hit Me @]

Band of Bees are getting along okay, but Swarm today would probably have a tough time of it. There's a mite attacking honey bees in the U.S.; it's killed about half the domestic beehives in the last year. I'm expecting a lot of food crops to go up in price, and soon.

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