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December 2014
The Spirit of the Beehive
"The Spirit of the Beehive
"
mp3
There is something rather dark and mysterious about a band that takes its name from a classic Spanish film that focuses on its protagonist, a young girl, who becomes fascinated by the 1931 horror movie, Frankenstein. And with an album cover that portrays a child in a bee costume positioned in front of a tombstone saying, “Here Lies Mom-n-Dad Now Their Gone Isn’t That Sad,” you can’t help but be intrigued, if not a bit disturbed. The Spirit of the Beehive is a local fledgling outfit who has popped up on my radar this past year, appearing on numerous bills, oftentimes at DIY spaces. The band has further grabbed my attention with its debut self-titled full-length album, which was recorded by The Weaks/ex-Dangerous Ponies, Evan Bernard and Chris Baglivo, and released via rising Philly indie label Ranch Records.  
 
The record’s opening track, “Roll Over,” begins with an eerie instrumentation before a languid female voice comes in with barely intelligible lines. “Cycles in and out of morphine hazes. Finding spaces between your floorboards. And I watch the dust move.” Thankfully the group provides us with lyrics on its Bandcamp page; otherwise, the beautifully poetic verses filled with drug-fueled imagery would be lost in the wash of power chords and feedback. “All lost in the black market. To wait in the fix aisle, I roll over.” You also get a sense of the band’s lo-fi, DIY aesthetic when you are abruptly taken out of the world, created by the album’s first, with studio chatter before moving on to the next track. With “Short Walk,” you can’t help but feel the influences of greats like Nirvana and more recently Creepoid with the hushed vocals and sonic bursts. These two tracks set the tone for the first half of the LP, where you travel in and out of the territories of dream pop and shoegaze when the female lead vocals grab a hold of you and then the grungier, harder-edged side takes over with the male lead. This juxtaposition provides quite an enjoyable balance that I actually wished went on longer throughout the record.
 
It’s not until “Ether,” where the two combine forces, changing the dynamic of their relationship. The title of the song suggests that you might be finding something more ethereal; however, the driving bass line provides a sense of urgency throughout the track. It also marks the point where the male lead begins to dominate the rest of the album, while taking on some of the characteristics of its counterpart. What remains a constant is a psychedelic, drug-filled angst full of guitar licks and distortion, giving off the vibe of a band that is here to rock, and they don’t care if you are ready for it or not.
 
The Spirit of the Beehive closes out their ambitious LP with the longest and cleanest sounding recording on the album, “Fever Dream,” demonstrating that they don’t need to hide behind studio effects, while making you wonder where their follow-up release will go next. It’s an eclectic and modern sounding record that also pulls from past genres I hold close to my chest. I highly recommend that you go download it ASAP. - Q.D. Tran

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scene blog

Weekend Warrior, March 23 - 25

Weekend Warrior, March 23 - 25

Oh, Dr. Dog, how we've missed you while you were on tour in support of your new album for ANTI-, Be The Void. Sure, you needed to spread around its fantastic, bellowing, melodically mincing 12 tracks, but you were gone for far too long. At least, now we have you back for a little homecoming at the Electric Factory this weekend - a sold out show tomorrow with openers Purling Hiss, who, if you remember, is a total "raging erection of rock 'n' roll," and one on Sunday with openers Birds of Maya (Purling Hiss' Mike Polizze's other lover) who just showers you with their gritty, bones-bare pub sermons. The E Factory will be home to a good ole fashion party this weekend - Philly style. Electric Factory, 421 N. 7th St., SAT. SOLD OUT; SUN, 8:30pm, $23-$25, All Ages - Annamarya Scaccia

 
More to do this weekend…
 
Johnny Brenda’s (1201 N. Frankford Ave.) FRI The Frankford Freeze-out w/Bruce Ice Cream and The Freeze Street Band and Adult Content, SAT Kim Phuc
 
Kung Fu Necktie (1250 N. Front St.) FRI Taggart and Like a Fox, SAT Sweet Lights,
SUN Son Step, Banned Books, Tygerstrype
 
The Level Room (2102 Market St.) SAT (Downstairs) Mean streets, The Line, The High Five, LE Yikes SURF CLUB, SAT (Upstairs) Dysrhythmia, Cleric, Torrential Downpour
 
North Star Bar (2639 Poplar St.) FRI Kensington Sound House, SUN Maniac and Cadaver Dogs
 
The Fire (412 W. Girard Ave.) FRI The Externals, Dagny, Cait Black, SAT Vulcans and Brianna Judge, Sunday (All Ages) Members Only, DRGN King, Dark, Young Pilgrims, SUN Polarbear Lars and Chicken, Alaska
 
M Room (15 W. Girard Ave.) FRI Said the Whale, Gems and Avatarz, The Fallen Troubadours
 
Tin Angel (20 S. 2nd St.) FRI (Early) Laura Cheadle, (Late) Shannon Pelcher, SAT Jeffrey Gaines
 
The Blockley (3801 Chestnut St.) Sat The Coup, LP Stiles, MH The Verb, Voss
 

Fergie’s (1214 Sansom St.) FRI Original Rays and The Donuts
 
World Café Live (3025 Walnut St.) FRI Soulidified, SUN Andrew Lipke
 
The Legendary Dobbs (304 South St.) SAT The Formulary, Black Stars, The Blak Sheep
 
Triumph Brewery (117 Chestnut St.) SAT Cosmic Dust Bunnies and Fikus
 
PhilaMOCA (531 N. 12th St. Philadelphia) FRI Slutever and Little Big League
 
JR's Bar (2327 S. Croskey St.) SAT Penniless Loafers, Velvet Crown, Slutever, thee our fathers
 
Connie’s Ric Rac (1132 S. 9th St.) FRI Hot Jam Factory
 
The El Bar (1356 N. Front St.) SAT Yakbuckets, Faked Raygun, John Pitale Blues Band, Ken Ho Experience, The Smit System
 
The Station (1550 McKean St.) FRI Cisco Jeeters, The Sparklers, St.James and The Apostles
 
The Rotunda (4014 Walnut St.) FRI Resistance Is Fertile: Seeds of Spring, SAT Groupthink, Alpha Wave Movement, Tim Motzer
 
The Trocadero (1003 Arch St.) SUN The Keystone Ska Exchange
 
Theatre of Living Arts (334 South St.) SAT Ground Up and Reef Da Lost Cauze
 
Emoda Gallery (302 Moore St.) FRI Quit Life and Lowlife
 
Highwire Gallery (2040 Frankford Ave.) SAT Northern Valentine and MPSP, SUN Sod House and Travis Woodson
 
Circle of Hope (2009 Frankford Ave.) SAT Many Arms Album Release Show w/Heavy Medical and Color is Luxury
 
Cha-Cha’Razzi (Please contact one of the acts for details.) FRI Attia Taylor, Catnaps, Liz & The Lost Boys, Bike Crash
 
The Treehouse (Please contact one of the acts for details.) FRI W.C. Lindsay EP Release Party w/Cold Fronts, Lucy Stone, Tongue Sculptors
 
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