Album Review: The Spirit of the Beehive – pleasure suck

By Tanner Bidish, Staff Writer
[Tiny Engines; 2017]
Rating: 7/10

Key Tracks: “future looks bright (it’s blinding),” “big brain,” “twenty first road trip”

Noisy and distorted with an obscured beauty, the latest record from The Spirit of the Beehive carries the feeling of high walks through the woods on sunny days; like there’s a fleeting, kind of urgent, warmness to each note. pleasure suck brings fuzz and psyche-rock to the table with an indie aesthetic that retains a distinct youthfulness to the package of tunes. They’re good tunes too, but some tracks get lost in the haze. Listeners may find themselves rocking out all the way through, only to not have any of it stick when the auto-stop clicks.

The Spirit of the Beehive show a knack for intermingling moments of calm and spikes of anxiety. The pacing within each song, as well as throughout the album, is notably deliberate. Some tracks cut abruptly while others flow into the next, and each transition has a knowing cohesion to it. A track that highlights these spikes and lulls is “twenty first road trip.” Fuzzy guitars tear through the first half of the tune in a style evocative of LVL UP. The bridge breaks for an acoustic interlude; a kind of respite from the wall of sound. There’s some murmurings about not wanting to waste time, then it’s right back into the thick of things. That technique of interrupted pacing keeps shorter tracks like “becomes the truth” and “time to scratch them all” from burning out too quickly.

A good portion of the album has that ‘wall of sound’ quality. “big brain” wears it well with an intro of speckled blips that leads to heavy guitar effects. On a less noisy side of things is “cops come looking,” which has restful but eerie tone. A piano gives up a soothing intro, while the guitar coos in listeners for a tale of anxiously fleeing the police.

pleasure suck is charming. The mushroom induced phone call in “future looks bright (it’s blinding)” is ironically clear, and speaks for the album in a way. Tracks get blurred, and while everything sounds tight, not all of it immediately stands out. Like calling your friend while on shrooms, it feels right albeit hazy. This record may take a few listens to appreciate, but is worth learning to love.

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