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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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New Killer Bangs Original Christmas EP for Charity Available for Streaming & Purchase

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.

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Chumped gets Pitchfork love + plays The Acheron on 12.30

A lot of musicians wonder what it takes to get their band's LP reviewed on Pitchfork - and some (maybe) even just to have a song posted on The Deli's blog. The truth might be disappointing for many: music critics and bloggers constantly search for music they like, and that's what they highlight, but they also miss a ton of stuff, because there's just too much music to deal with out there - which by the way explains why having proper PR backing is important. Also, a record that gets a 7 from a reviewer might get a 4 or a 9 from another from the same publication, so the "random taste" factor is substantial. This being said, while OK records find both fans and detractors in the music reviewing community, really good ones always seem to build some consensus. This seems to be the case for Brooklyn's punk pop quartet Chumped (a band we covered for the first time almost exactly one year ago), whose new album "Teenage Retirement" recently got a really good review from Pitchfork. The record belongs squarely to the "90s resurgence" wave that in recent years has been inspiring many in the Brooklyn's DIY community of musicians, but it stands out from most other releases for consistency of the songwriting - always something quite rare to find. Check out track opener "December is the Longest Month" below, and don't miss what promises to be an incredibly packed show at tiny Acheron on December 30.

We added this song to The Deli's playlist of Best "punk and derivates" songs by emerging NYC artists - check it out!

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New Music Video: "Heart It Races" (Live - Architecture in Helsinki Cover) - Dr. Dog

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.

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Elephants release LP "Strange Waves" tomorrow (12.16)

Tomorrow, December 16, Boston Indie Rockers Elephants will be releasing their latest full-length album, "Strange Waves." The release comes about a year and a half after their self-titled first record. Their sophomore offering shows a lot more musical control, while still holding tight to their lo-fi preferences. It seems the band has finally found their sound (spoiler alert: lots of fuzzy guitars) and has figured exactly how to project it. The record has a great flow to it--all of the songs are very cohesive and compliment each other nicely. I was able to check a preview of the album and I particularly drawn to the fifth track, “Moving Pictures.” The song has a Dinosaur Jr.-ish feel with great guitar riffs and a smooth vocal performance from singer Lauren Garant. You can find some of these elements also in "The Turtles Were Right," the first single unveiled by the band, streaming below.

For updates about future shows and other band news, check out Elephants’ Facebook page. - Dan McMahon

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Sleep Sun Plays Brick and Mortar with Al Lover and Banquet 12/17

San Francisco based psych blues band, Sleepy Sun is playing an all ages show at Brick and Mortar Music Hall on Wednesday, December 17th. Sleepy Sun is a passion drenched veteran psych band whose music is moving and addictive. Bay Area staple, DJ Al Lover will be performing his music as well. His mixes fill a room like a psych experimental mist that washes over your ear drums and senses. SF based hard rock band, Banquet will be opening the show, making this line up a collection of heavy vibed musicians. Therefore, we think you should indulge in this upcoming show and let the experience speak for itself.

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