The Spirit Of The Beehive – Pleasure Suck LP

The Spirit Of The Beehive came out with a track that I would consider to be in my top 10 favorite tracks of all time.  Off of the underrated, and criminally underplayed, gem of an EP, You Are Arrived (But You’ve Been Cheated), the title track to the 2015 album is one that I have never tired of hearing, even after five, 15, or 100 times.

I came across this band listening to Michelle Zauner’s guest hosting of My Old Kentucky Blog’s blog radio sets on Sirius XMU last summer while traveling across the country from Albuquerque to Virginia.  Best known as the creative mind behind Japanese Breakfast and Philly band, Little Big League, she hooked up her friends and fellow Philadelphians with a bit of national airplay, something I will be eternally grateful for as this band has easily become one of my favorites to date.

Luckily for us, The Spirit Of The Beehive released a new LP about a month ago via Tiny Engines, Pleasure Suck, and I can say it was worth the wait.  Moving from wafting and slowly simmering lo-fi soundscapes to barrages of shoegazing noise and back again, the band knows exactly what they’re about and how to hit you with just the right amount of darkness without being completely suffocating.  The definite highlights of the album include, “Cops Coming Looking,” a tightly packed song that takes you from a beautifully weaving of melodies and then drops you in the middle of a Nirvana-esque no-bullshit chorus.

And there’s “Future Looks Bright (It’s Blinding),” in which they claim that “you are free, freer than me,” while mixing in a confounding mixture of synth sounds, buzzes, and guitar riffs and following up with lines like, “I just ate three-grams of mushrooms,” never nailing down one sound or melody.  Instead, there’s enjoyment in taking us on a journey with them as they explore their ever expanding universe of sounds, audio textures, and spinning the listener in their web as light fades and darkness takes over.  I’d say this track, more than any other, encapsulates the album as a whole:  just comfortably on the edge of confusion, yet not enough to topple over into unknown depths.



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