A horrible hack

the Spirit of the Beehive

Pleasure Suck

Year Released: 2017
Format: LP
Label: Tiny Engines
Reviewed by Jordie on Apr 14, 2017
The Spirit of The Beehive’s new album ‘pleasure suck’ floats neatly between their Swirlies-esque self-titled debut and their more direct last release ‘You Are Arrived (But You’ve Been Cheated)’. While nothing on ‘pleasure suck’ is as clockwork perfect as ‘Natural Devotion’ from ‘You are Arrived…’ it’s equally intricate and thoughtfully crafted - ‘pleasure suck’ is just a far more grizzly, urgent sounding record for The Beehive. ‘pleasure suck’s flagship single ‘ricky (caught me tryin’)’ combines elements which made previous releases great: sea-sick chord changes, dizzy rhythmic time shifts and tape sample collages. However, ‘ricky…’ is much more structurally efficient than previous tracks. It’s not far from a Pixies hit but still maintains the melodic complexity and rich textures of the Beehive’s weirder experimental songs. Imagine if Pile really did write a ‘hit single’.

Although, even with its refined approach ‘pleasure suck’ is still customarily disorientating: ‘time to scratch it all’ journeys seamlessly from claustrophobic Rob Crow chord tunnel to bludgeoning riff and resolves with a delicate melancholic coda. Being able to effortlessly switch from dark to light is one of The Spirit of the Beehive’s key talents and even when their guitar fog clears The Beehive never sound overly saccharine. Sweet melodies are always wrapped in a Speedy Ortiz-like sardonic shroud with deliberately off-key notes singing the edges. Everything is woven together elegantly and the band can rock out a relentless Tera Melos riff alongside a soft ballad like ‘snow on the moon’, which isn’t a million miles from Broken Social Scene. The Beehive have made real growth on this LP - ‘pleasure suck’ reads as a cohesive, ambitious musical statement with a clear beginning and end. It’s the best thing The Spirit of the Beehive have done by quite a leap and even borrowed elements are synthesised into something much weirder, richer and more original. It’s a standout of the genre.

Recommended record by Collective Zine!

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