Release DetailsLABEL Emolution Records
RELEASED ON 12/1/2004
posted on 6/2005 By:
First I’d like to congratulate France on finally showing some political nads and rejecting the European constitution. Only took you 40 years to grow a pair. Second, I’d like to congratulate France on having some pretty damn good post rock/hardcore bands; Amanda Woodward, Comity, and the oddly named Bumblebees.
With an obvious Neurosis/Isis lean but with a slightly more instrumental focus similar to Pelican, The Red Sparowes and Tides, Bumblebees bring a slightly art house glean to the genre as the bearded, sweater wearing, bespectacled members look more like History teachers you’d see gathering at a local coffee shop discussing The Zimmerman document rather than rocking out with this level of artful instrumentation.
Anyway, if you can get past the native French lyrics (which are minimal anyway), fans of any of the bands mentioned so far in this review should definitely check this out. Generally the music is ambient layered strumming and acoustics littered with occasional bursts of laid back Converge-ish mayhem (scattershot discordance and vacant screams). There’s nothing as antagonistically punishing as Pelican’s massive climaxes or Isis’s vast throbbing peaks and valleys, but an intrinsic subtle mix of both that’s glossed with a peaceful air of minimalistic inner tranquility.
The virtually instrumental opener “Triangle” sets the undulating tone with large chunks of ebbing tones and subtly different hues, while the initially perturbing spoken word intro of “Baragouine” soon delves into a more expansive lurch and atonal dirge. The harmonica laced diatribe “Klub Barak 79” will force most to hit the fast forward button to the percussively jazzy yet discordant initial sway of “Bordel de Chacal” and it’s again, eventual lucid acoustics and clean vocals.
“Cervelle” treads a more spaced out chugging and droning tone, but is arguably the album's most immediate and direct track that imbues an artful presence while maintaining a suitably adequate intellectual, rimmed glassed tone. Even the most ardent French hater could not enjoy the ethereal fireside acoustics and whale song poetry of “Corned Beef”, even myself being of English blood. The sax laced Eastern vibe of “Smazene Syr” is a little pretentious but when followed by the likes of the sublime “Frolux” that would put the likes of Mastodon and Neurosis on notice and the brilliant, sprawling 19 (including the seven minutes of silence) minute epic “Stolnjak”, it's of no consequence.
I’ll admit, I write reviews for A: Free music, and B: I like writing, but when the reward is discovering surprising and wonderful new bands amid the slew of garbage, it makes everything worthwhile. Bumblebees is one such band that makes this gig a pleasure and a cultural gap closing experience.
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