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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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Heavy Medical

New Music Video: "Trench Mouth" - Heavy Medical

Would you rather have a pizza party or beer party? If you're thinking pizza-beer party, then experience what that'd be like with the guys from Heavy Medical in the new music for their track "Trench Month," which is part of the group's latest demo EP Constant Disappointment. After checking it out, do you think that they're the best dudes or the worst dudes to party with? Ha...we'll say the former as long as they're not doing it in our homes.

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Psychic Teens, Heavy Medical & Pinkwash Opening for Weed at Golden Tea House July 1

Tonight, Golden Tea House offers you a chance to embrace the darkness. Kicking off an abbreviated run of dates, the trio of Psychic Teens usher in a noisy littered-filled musicality, building a creepy avalanche of anticipatory danger that makes their full-throttled instrumental approach an exhilarating horror film meets rollercoaster hybrid - a horror-coaster if you will. Heavy Medical will be joining the proceedings with their all-out sludgy, sledgehammer noise-punk, continuously smashing forward in conquest mode. The tandem of Ashley Arnwine (Bleeding Rainbow) and Joey Doubek (Hume) will also be combining forces to become Pinkwash, releasing an energetic experimental punk EP Your Cure Your Soil. Vancouver’s grunge rockers Weed close out the evening of heaviness in West Philly. Golden Tea House, (Please contact one of the acts or venue for more info.), 8pm, $5 - $7, All Ages - Michael Colavita.


New Heavy Medical Demo EP Available for Streaming

"We are back! Just FYI We are still a fucking band!!!! Here is proof!" Heavy Medical’s new three-song demo EP Constant Disappointment comes at you in full-on attack mode. The penetrating percussion smashing away, vocals tearing through in that authoritative pissed off perspective. It’s an unrelenting release of aggression forcefully tumbling down a steep hill headed right for you. Heavy Medical will be performing next in Philly on Wednesday, June 25 at Kung Fu Necktie. They also have plans to release new material and do a couple of small tours this summer.

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Drums Like Machine Guns Ready to Do Some Damage at KFN May 21

Harsh vibes (not the band) will be coming at you all night at Kung Fu Necktie this evening, and conjuring up the spirits of eardrums lost will be experimental noise duo Drums Like Machine Guns. It's pretty impressive or pretty sad that besides a handful of YouTube clips you can only find the group's tracks online at an ancient MySpace page. Well, we are pretty sure that Drums Like Machine Guns aren't very concerned about building their fanbase. In fact, they might actually derive a bit of pleasure from scaring them away. And tonight, you'll also find other local cohorts trying to test your aural pain threshold. Heavy Medical will be sending a barrage of sonic body blows to the gut, after Pale Shelter, a trio made up of members from Fight Amp, Bubonic Bear, and Braille. They'll play host Brooklyn noise-pop outfit VAZ and Portland, Oregon via San Francisco sludge crew Prizehog. Kung Fu Necktie, 1250 N. Front St., 7:30pm, $7, 21+ - Alexis V. 


Heavy Medical Helping to Release Some Father’s Day Aggression at PhilaMOCA June 16

If you happen to hear some loud, strange noises coming from PhilaMOCA tonight, don’t be afraid. It’s just sludgy, noise rockers Heavy Medical tearing shit up. The former duo now trio lay down bludgeoning beats while unapologetically attempting to tear your face off (in a good way if that is possible). They’ll be hosting a pair Japanese acts, Tacobonds and Groundcover, who will certainly be adding to the chaos that will be found in the former mausoleum this evening. Also visiting town will be Baltimore’s Echo Hey Hello. If you need to let out some aggression after spending the day with your family or just hate Father’s Day because it reminds you of the asshole who was never there for you, this show is a good place to let out some steam. PhilaMOCA, 531 N. 12th St., 8pm, $7 - $10, All Ages - Alexis V.

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