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The Spirit of the Beehive
"The Spirit of the Beehive
"
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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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Cayetana recently appeared on Generic Insight, a podcast with Barrie Cohn. They discussed their hyper-busy year in review including recording Nervous Like Me at Miner Street Recordings, touring, ska music, women in the punk scene - both in bands and behind the scenes, and much more. You can take a listen to the entire interview HERE. (Photo by Mary Ferrigno)

December 17, 2014
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Beloved Philly hardcore vets Blacklisted has been creeping back into the spotlight as of late. With their fourth studio LP, When People Grow, People Go, the long-awaited follow-up to 2009's No One Deserves To Be Here More Than Me, scheduled for release on February 10, 2015 via Deathwish, there is a glimmer of hope that fans will get to see them more frequently on stage. The group's forthcoming eleven-song record was produced by Will Yip, and you can take a listen below to their new track "Deeper Kind," which premiered yesterday at Noisey.

December 17, 2014
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Electro-soul/R&B artist Moon Bounce, a.k.a. Corey Regensburg, just shared a new single called "Body," which is part of Ryan Hemsworth's Secret Songs series and is available for free download. Regensburg proclaims, "I wrote this song to celebrate my lady’s body and worship carnal desire. It’s my raunchiest song to date, but also the purest." We think someone is being done right. Hopefully this song will get you the same results.

December 17, 2014
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Year of the Hyenas, a collaboration between Reef the Lost Cauze & King Syze, dropped at midnight. The single “Kiss The Ring,” which was produced by Snowgoons and features fellow Army of the Pharaohs member Doap Nixon, creates a deliberate menace with a bounce beat punctuated by stirring strings and a consistent, powerful anthem-esque delivery, handed off in a smooth yet efficiently intense medley fashion. Catch Reef a week from today, December 23rd, at Silk City Diner!

December 16, 2014
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Killer Bangs are getting into the holiday spirit. The good time rock 'n' roll crew just released a new three-song EP of original Christmas tunes. And in the season of giving, proceeds from the album will go to Philly's Toys for Tots. Have a heart, and grab yours ASAP! They'll also be performing this New Year's Eve at Kung Fu Necktie.

December 16, 2014
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Dr. Dog has been masterfully covering Architecture in Helsinki's "Heart It Races" for years now. So obviously, the band's recent live version release of the song accompanied by an energetic concert footage music video is warmly welcomed by the group's growing legions of fans. It's a prelude to the forthcoming first-ever live album from the Philly rockers. Dr. Dog Live at Flamingo Hotel will be available on January 13 via Anti- Records. They'll be heavily touring in the new year; however, there are no local dates currently on their calendar.

December 16, 2014
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