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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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Streetwalkers

Free Download: "Song Twenty-Four" - Streetwalkers

Streetwalkers recently announced that they have started to work on a new album. The band also shared a new track available for free download called "Song Twenty-Four," which will not be on the upcoming record.

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Free Download: "Song Twenty-Two" - Streetwalkers

Below is the latest track from lo-fi, scuzz-pop outfit Streetwalkers called "Song Twenty-Two." We hear a mixture of fellow Philadelphians Creepoid and Nirvana in it, which is obviously a good thing in our book. You can download the song for free below.

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Free Download: “Song Twenty-Two” - Streetwalkers

Streetwalkers just released a new scuzzy, lo-fi track called “Song Twenty-Two” yesterday. You can listen to and download it for free below. They’ll be performing next in Philly on October 9 at Johnny Brenda’s opening for recent Dead Oceans signee and heavily buzzed-about Night Beds.

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Montreal vs. Philly w/Streetwalkers and More at House Show April 27

Some bands attempt to play up their sound by adding pieces that just don’t fit, in a word overproducing. Philly’s Streetwalkers don’t over dress for the occasion. It’s simply jeans and t-shirt indie rock. The guitar riffs are simple and slightly raw, but that rawness is a technique meant to demonstrate the band’s style. Streetwalkers are comfortable in their own skin and the slightly worn appearance. The straightforward “we are what we are” approach gives an air of natural authenticity. The bass guitar thumps along in a slightly irritated manner that matches the six-string while the drums come along for the trip.  When the guitar decides to step to the front, the sound is heavy yet controlled pushing up to the edge, but not over it. They’re a band that can play the clean-cut rock ‘n’ roll. But they prefer to be themselves rather than dressing the part - frayed edges and worn boots take it or leave it. Tonight Streetwalkers will be performing in South Philly at a DIY house show as part of a Montreal vs. Philly showcase with Satellite Hearts, Alpha Wavez, Crabe and Leamers. House Show, (Please contact one of the acts for more details.), 7pm, $6, All Ages - Michael Colavita

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