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Bee Stings

Life By Misadventure (Council Pop)

By • Jun 6th, 2007 • Category: Album review

London four-piece Bee Stings court their own weirdness as if they’re afraid of vanishing into the mire of banal indie-pop. There’s certainly no danger of that , however, as their debut album oscillates between lush orchestral arrangements, 21st century electronica and all-out punk pop with gay abandon. They may never be boring, but they’re not always that exciting either, and the end result is all too often an atmosphere of intriguing experimentalism rather than one of genuinely exciting pop-rock.

Opener ‘Pressure’ builds nicely from muttered vocals and swelling strings to a guitar-driven climax, although the seams are glaringly obvious and the separate influences never quite gel in the way that they should. The same problem haunts kind-of-title track ‘Misadventure’, as it opens with electronic pulses and then progresses to more familiar pop chords, while ‘Show Me Happy’ slides from Gwen Stefani-like white-girl rap to highly synthesized laptop-pop. Life By Misadventure still has its moments of greatness, but on the whole they’re far too few, too infrequent, and too poorly stuck together to create much of a lasting impression. If you ever wondered what a blend of Gwen Stefani, The B-52s, Eighties synth-pop and lounge room jazz might sound like when thrown into a blender, then this is probably for you. For the rest of us there’s just too much misadventure on display, and too few solid tunes.

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