Review: Jack Foley
THE Bees, up until now, seem destined to have been remembered
as the band behind the quintessential track, A minha menina,
despite securing a Mercury Music Prize nomination for their
no-less impressive long-player, Sunshine Hit Me.
There was a growing worry that, maybe, they would become one-hit
wonders, given how quiet things have been since then.
But fear not, for the two years of touring and writing have proved
worth the wait, for The Bees are back, and their latest long-player
packs quite a memorable sting.
Free The Bees is the sound of a band which has grown
in confidence stretching their musical muscles somewhat, to deliver
a telling blow to the collective listening psyche.
Gone is the quirky, raw sound of the debut album, made from a
shed in Paul Butler's parents' garden, replaced instead by the
luxurious environment of the world-famous Abbey Road studios.
Is it any surprise, then, to find that the same sound that helped
to make The Beatles so famous, during their stint there, is present
throughout Free The Bees?
This is an album which feels like a glorious nostalgia trip through
the late Sixties and early Seventies, courtesy of the tight pop
tunes and glorious psychedelic workouts contained within.
The singles are evidence of this, with Wash In The Rain
a gloriously chirpy workout, complete with a Stranglers' hammond
organ workout during the chorus, and Horsemen, a sublime
70s rock-tinged guitar work-out, that finds the band at their
Elsewhere, the sound that helped to make A minha menina
such a timeless classic, is contained within the funky Chicken
Payback, which could easily hot-foot its way onto the soundtrack
of another Austin Powers movie!
While One Glass of Water is pure swinging Sixties, eschewing
all the values of classic Beatles in their heyday - glorious,
snappy drum loops, wrapped around sun-drenched chiming guitars,
and a catchy chorus ('I would like, just one glass of water').
It's an obvious thing to say that bands capture the sound of
the Summer in some of their song-writing, but it would be foolish
to overlook the fact that this really does provide the perfect
soundtrack to those sun-drenched (hopefully!) days.
It harks back to a time when love was free, flower power was
king, flares were the order of the day, and people felt a little
bit more chilled out about themselves.
All The Bees need is the army of screaming women fans and they
will be set. For this really is an album worth shouting about!
1. These Are the Ghosts
2. Wash In the Rain
3. No Atmosphere
5. Chicken Payback
6. The Russian
7. I Love You
8. The Start
10. Go Karts
11. One Glass Of Water
12. This Is the Land