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COOL HUNTING

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A Band of Bees wants you to Free the Bees.

On their second full-length album, the Isle of Wight duo returns, not only to the fold but also to some classic rock roots. I don’t really remember liking the Bees music in the past, but the first time I put on Free the Bees, something was different. I was immediately drawn in to their retro sound, combining some elements of ‘70s arena rock but heavily falling back toward the sound of the original British invasion of the ‘60s. Band of Bees takes its cue from groups like the Zombies and the Turtles, developing a neo-psychedelic sound that hasn’t been heard in a long time.

The song “Horsemen” exemplifies what I’m saying. One whirl and you’re back in the van smokin’ weed sitting on the deep, brown shag run – not a very stylish image, but you know you want to go there. But listen to “Go Karts” and the sound reflects Sgt. Peppers-era Beatles – with swirling psychedelic keyboards that make you feel like you’re on a merry-go-round, while their first single, “Chicken Payback,” riffs on original rock ‘n’ roll grooves when the sound was still owned by black artists.

Free the Bees shows a band taking chances with a sound that many people mock but deep down look at it as a guilty pleasure. The album is available on import right now, but comes out in the States in June.

Check out some tracks.

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