Say what you will, but the 60s are over. Music will never fully revert back to the psychedelic garage rock of years past. However, if you want the closest thing to music from the hippy era, look no further than The Bees. Embracing lo-fi production, silly lyrics, memorable guitar licks, farfisa organ, and just about everything else that made a band from the 60s a band from the 60s, The Bees are out on a journey to revive the musical ways of the past with their mission statement of an album Free The Bees.
I’m not really sure what The Bees need freed from. Their singer has a vast range, and he makes use of it with soaring vocals in every song, so he’s obviously fairly free. The instruments all play very loosely and wildly, making them unable to be freed any more without making the songs a distorted mess. The song “Horsemen” sounds like it could have been by the band Free, with a catchy guitar riff acting as the backbone of the song.
All name inquiries aside, Free The Bees really is a great album. He tracks are as diverse as they could possibly be without straying from the late 60s vibe. “Chicken Payback” runs on an amped up, very danceable guitar riff while the singer spits out meaningless lyrics about paying back various types of animals. “One Glass Of Water,” the album highlight, is 60s garage rock in all of its hyperactive, wild glory, sounding like it’s constantly trying to get ahead of itself. A few Beatles-like ballads round out Free The Bees’ sound, with “Hourglass” leading the pack. Its laid back, jazzy guitar solo and vocal harmonies push it in front of other like-minded tracks such as “The Start” and “It Isn’t Exact.” The only bad track on the album is “The Russian,” a organ-drenched instrumental that creates a Russian vibe but doesn’t go anywhere with it.
Free The Bees stands out in the midst of the many other garage rock imitators because of its full sound and range of styles. There are bands from the 60s that couldn’t capture the energy and wild feel this album has, so it is quite the commendable effort for a band from today to do so.
-Sounds just like an album from the 60s would
-One Glass Of Water is excellent
-Feels old and somehow new at the same time
-Some ballads have no “soul”
-The Russian is pretty bad
Overall Rating: 3.5/5