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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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The Deli's SXSW Issue 2014 is online!

Read it digitally here.

P.S. 10k free copies of this issue hit the street of Austin during SXSW Music week!


Whale Fall's majestic post-rock

Post-rock outfit Whale Fall are set to officially release their second full-length The Madrean next month, a fully instrumental recording with a cinematic feel that conveys a quiet intensity in its sheer scope. This is music to get lost to, boasting a guitar-oriented sound accentuated with horn parts that patiently build up without resorting to any cheap cathartic moments. The Madrean is meant to be listened to from beginning to end, as its eight tracks pay homage to the Madrean region of North America. The album can be streamed in its entirety on their bandcamp page.

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Video: Life Leone, "I Can't Say No"

Brady Erickson is Life Leone, an indie rock musician with raw energy, perfectly executed tones and dizzy guitar lines. Erickson, after returning home from Vietnam to work as a guitar craftsman, sat down and let his creativity pour with Eastern influences. Keeping with his indie roots blended loud fuzzy guitars (similar to hard rock), energetic tempos, and extended guitar strums to create that psychedelic balance. After releasing his single, “I Can’t Say No”, Erickson toured soon after in support of his EP, Comes Crashing In. His exploratory passion found its shining moment in Life Leone. - Kayla Hay

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Susan release 7" Just Call It

All-female trio Susan share a punk-meets-pop ethos that puts them in the same bracket as other power-pop bands like The Go Go's and early Bangles. The brisk seven minutes that make up their debut 7" Just Call It are short, sweet and to the point, cheerful, jangly tunes with a surf-rock edge that highlight harmony and sharp hooks. The 7" inch is just a taste until they release a five-song cassette through Burger Records early next year. 

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Stream: The Controversy, "Two Voices"

What happens when an unstoppable force hits immovable object? A Controversy. Laura Vall, andThomas Hjorth are the unique and talented duo that make up The Controversy, an electro pop band with psychedelic elements with influences that range from Bjork and Beck to Portishead and Massive Attack. Their newest single, "Two Voices", holds nothing back. “Two Voices is about the insecurities we all battle with everyday,” Vall says, “the doubts that we face and how these can hold you back, even if they are just in your head.” Growing up is inevitable; we begin to realize as adults that the only thing truly stopping us is ourselves. But hard work pays off, and in 2012 the band won Artist of the Year (Artists In Music Awards) and Best Alternative Song (Hollywood Music In Media Awards), but that didn’t make the room smaller for this group. “It was great validation and a pat on the back for us but we know that we need to keep pushing forward and keep fighting. We know that there is still a long way to go and this is just the beginning.”

Varying in analog and digital synths, electronic beats, and even sampling inanimate objects to create a unique sound, The Controversy stops at nothing to keep their audience captivated on their sound. Nothing is out of the question - pencils hitting a glass, bumping pots and pans together and even pieces of wood are used to create that illuminating sound that is unlike anything we hear on the radio. After not playing a live show for over a year, Vall has plans for 2015 that include an exciting light show, a full experience and a strive for greatness. The Controversy is both the immovable and the unstoppable. As Vall suggests, “Just let go and free yourself from all these demons, you’ll enjoy life more and feel better about yourself." - Kayla Hay

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